A personal budget is an allocation of money that you use to pay for the care and support needs detailed in your support and assessment plan. This is paid to you by us, depending on your financial circumstances.
Following a social care assessment you may be identified as having eligible needs for care and support that we can meet. We will work with you, and your family/friends, to produce an assessment and support plan. The assessment and support plan may include free and paid for social care services.
To see if you qualify for funding and a personal budget you will need to complete a financial assessment.
A personal budget can be paid to you as:
You can take all of the budget as a direct payment. You can use this to:
- employ someone to help you
- buy support from an agency
- pay directly for activities
If you choose Direct payment you don't have to sort everything out yourself. We provide funding to a number of organisations who can offer support and advice.
All support plans will include an assessment of any safeguarding issues.
You can ask us or another third party to manage the budget for you and use it to pay for the support that you have chosen. You can also take part of your budget as a direct payment and the rest as a managed account.
Continuing healthcare - personal health budgets
You may be eligible for a personal health budget, if you are an adult receiving NHS continuing healthcare. That is NHS funded long-term health and personal care provided outside of hospital.
Please note this is different to a personal budget but works in a similar way.
For more information you can find a number of guides at national charity In Control.
Frequently asked questions
What if I want to have a personal budget and still use the services I already receive?
You can choose to take a personal budget and use it to pay for the services you already receive. This would be a managed personal budget. You just need to know how much money you have to spend and what you would like to do with the money.
What is the difference between an 'individual budget' and a 'personal budget'?
We refer to money that you receive from us as a 'personal budget'.
An 'individual budget' is money that can be made from other income streams including:
- Adult Social Care personal budget
- Access to work
- Disabled facilities grant
- Other funding sources
How often will I be paid?
Your personal budget will be paid, in arrears, as a direct payment in four-weekly instalments. There are 13 payments in each financial year. The payment will be made directly to your or your agreed ‘suitable person’s bank account.
Can I employ family and friends?
You can only employ family and friends if they do not live in the same house as you.
Will you want to know what I am doing with my money?
Yes. You will have to provide us with information about how you spend your money. This is usually on an annual basis and may include:
- bank statements
- wage slips - if you employ your own staff
- information on how you have spent your money
- more information if your social worker thinks you need more support to manage your budget.
As a personal budget holder you have certain responsibilities to those who you employ. You will be charged if you do not use the services you have arranged, subject to the following periods of notice to cancel services provided by us:
- homecare - 24 hours
- day care - two weeks
- respite - two weeks
Any agreed spend through your support plan will be left in your account from one financial year to another. If this amount exceeds eight weeks money, the council will check the amount left and review your budget. Following this, a reassessment of your need may be required.
I am working - will this affect my funding?
No. Your personal budget will be the same whether you are working or not. However, your earnings may affect the contribution you are asked to make towards the cost of your support.
Will my benefits be affected?
No. Any funding you receive as part of your personal budget is for your social care support. It is not treated as a benefit or as income.
What if a personal budget does not work out for me?
If you are not happy about how your support plan is working, you or your social worker can talk to us/the service provider directly or we can put you in touch with an independent advocate.
You can stop using your personal budget at any time. We will try to arrange alternative care services to meet your needs if a personal budget is not suitable.
If I employ staff do they need to be Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked?
Yes - if there are any children under the age of 16 in the household. If there are any vulnerable adults involved it is strongly recommended that you complete a CRB check too.
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You can also content the Adult Access Team: 0300 555 0055