Prepaid cards for care will ‘make payment easier and safer’, says Lincolnshire County Council

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Lincolnshire County Council will introduce a prepaid cards system for people to pay for the care and support they need.

The local authority said it is introducing new ways to make direct payments more manageable and secure. The changes include prepaid cards, a system which has already proved successful for 130 other public sector organisations across the UK.

Prepaid cards aim to simplify the payment process while also protecting people that use them from potential financial abuse. Those using the new service will no longer need to send bank statements to the council, nor will they be required to set up a separate bank account to receive their direct payments into.

Executive councillor for adult care Councillor Patricia Bradwell has welcomed the introduction of the new system. She said: “The move to prepaid cards is great news for those who need care in Lincolnshire. Prepaid cards are easy to set up and use, they will also give greater protection to people who are vulnerable to fraud, and those receiving care will be safer as a result of this change.

“Anyone in Lincolnshire, regardless of financial status, who is eligible to receive Social Care Support from the county council can choose to have a direct payment and prepaid card.”

Anyone wanting a direct payment will be offered a prepaid card. People already receiving a direct payment will have the opportunity to switch to a prepaid card account during their support plan review.

A prepaid card is identical to a debit card but for it being solely used to pay for care and support from an account that is impossible to go overdrawn in.

The new system gives people the option to either pay at point of sale using chip and pin or directly into an account via bank transfer. In addition, anyone with a prepaid account can also set up direct debits and standing orders.

Approximately 1,400 people in Lincolnshire currently receive a direct payment.