We want to give local people more choice and control over the care and support they receive. This means that they are able to decide what they want, how it should be provided and by whom.
Personal budgets are the way we help people pay for that.
- What is a personal budget?
- How to get a personal budget
- What you can and cannot do with a personal budget
- Changing circumstances
What is a personal budget?
A Personal Budget is an amount of money that some people who have high care needs are eligible for. It includes the assessed contribution you pay and we provide money in addition to make the full amount. You can have choice, freedom and flexibility over how and when your care is arranged - it puts you in control.
Being older or disabled does not mean our lives stop, and we should be able to continue to see our friends and family, go shopping, see a film, listen to music, go to the pub or café in just the same way as we did before. A young person who is disabled should have the same opportunities as anyone else.
You will be able to take all or part of your Personal Budget as a direct payment to pay for your own support, either by employing individuals yourself or purchasing support through an agency. It is tax-free and does not affect your benefits or income.
Some people may, once they have decided on their care package, have the council continue to organise and pay for this directly, but this is happening less now.
How to get a personal budget
You are entitled to a personal budget if following an assessment you are considered eligible.
- Read our assessment page to find out how.
- If you are managing your own personal budget you will be paid via a Direct Payment.
- If you have your services arranged by the council, the personal budget is the value of services the council will arrange
What you can and cannot do with a personal budget
You can use a personal budget to pay for any care you have been assessed as needing.
This means that there's a lot more choice about the kind of care you can pay for.
The personal budget can be used for the purposes agreed as part of your care plan, which may include:
- Pay for a personal assistant or care worker to care for you at home, or help with activities like going shopping. Search Haricare for agencies who can provide this support, or find out about employing a personal assistant
- Attending a college - see examples on Haricare
- Joining a local community group - see examples on Haricare
- A one-off purchase such as a piece of equipment or a laptop
You cannot use your personal budget to:
- Employ your spouse, partner or relative, who lives in the same household as you, to care for you at home
- Pay for permanent residential or nursing care
- Pay for services that should be funded by other statutory organisations
- Pay for any activity that would be harmful, fraudulent or illegal
If your personal circumstances have changed you should contact your care manager as soon as possible to review your needs. Don’t wait for the situation to get worse.
If your support plan is changed as a result, you may qualify for a larger personal budget to cover their increased need for support.
It is never good to 'struggle on' when personal circumstances change.
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