I've recently requested a re-assessment of mum's care needs from Social Services as the direct payments we receive no longer cover the level of care she needs. Am awaiting someone to be allocated and to visit to do this (no particular worries about this as, thankfully, this has always worked very well in the past and the people have always been very helpful - so many awful stories on here about SS, but they deserve a praise from me for this at least). We have always received direct payments for her home care (as opposed to carers sourced by SS), and I have always used the same agency, but because I've had to up the number of calls as mum is now bedbound, and because the agency are raising their fees, the monthly amount we get from SS, plus mum's assessed contribution, will no longer cover the monthly invoice from the agency. When I spoke with someone today, they talked about the rate they pay being less than my agency charges (yes, correct), and that I would have to 'top up'. I'm not really sure why they say this as the whole point of DPs, as I understand it, is that I get an amount, and then I use that to buy suitable care for mum. In our case the agency we use is most suitable as they have several carers who speak one of mum's languages. I have always used the amount they pay me and converted this to buy as much care as I can for mum (their rates are around £5 less an hour than I have to pay the agency). What puzzles me is where they expect the 'top up' (if there was one) to come from? From my £64.60 a week Carers' Allowance?!! As I understand it, I am not allowed to top up from mum's savings (not much anyway). So if I am a full time carer, in receipt of Carers' Allowance only, do they expect me to start using my savings to pay extra for mum's care, or take my pension early to cover it?! I would always be prepared to spend my own money on my mum if I had to, but are they assuming I have some other income that I can pay the possible top up from? How am I supposed to achieve that if I care for her full time?