We have recently for the first time been referred to Social services. The lady was very helpful,giving lots of advise. She has somewhat bamboozed me with info. Before we see her again I want to be clear in my mind what route we should be taking. She has spoken about direct payments where the money is paid to us to select services. I am not sure if the assesment is done on the needs of the sufferer the carer or both?? What excactly can you use the money for.I know you can pay someone to look after the person but the booklet says you can use it for breaks,leisure but for which person. Does it mean as a carer they will pay for me to do something I want to do,gym,swiming or such like? Or is it only for the sufferer. If it is only the sufferer will it pay for little holidays.I understand they do an assesement of the help you you and base the payments on that. My husband has dementia and Parkinsons which means his needs are spaspodic. If they asssessed him as needing care to get up as an example, do I have to prove I have only used the money for this purpose when perhaps some mornings he does not need help and I may want the money for something else. Is it a case they say you need 2 hours help in the morning and 3 hours sitter service so you can shopping(or whatever) and that is only what you can do.I know you have to run a seperate bank account and keep records. Is the money means tested? and does it effect other benefits such as pension credit,council tax,DLA and pension.Is it classed as income? Sorry but I'm confused!!