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Personal budgets

A personal budget is money from your Local Authority to pay for the support that you need. You can choose to get your Personal Budget as a direct payment or you can ask the local authority to manage the money for you. If you have a Personal Budget, you can choose how you want to be supported.

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How do you get a personal budget?

If you already get care services, there will be a person who works with you to make sure that your needs are being met such as a key worker or care coordinator. You could talk to this person about getting a personal budget.

If you don't receive care services, or if you're not sure who to talk to, you should contact the social services department of your local council. You can find your local council here.

What will happen next?

  1. Social Services will assign you a person called a Social Worker or Care Manager. This person will support you to take the next steps and make any decisions. You will be able to ask them for advice or help.
  2. You will have an assessment to find out what your needs are. Then you will find out roughly how much money you will get to meet your needs.
  3. You will decide how you would like to spend your Personal Budget. You will make a support plan with a list of the services you need and how much they will cost.
  4. Social services will check your plan. If they agree with it, they will confirm the final amount of money you will get to pay for the services you need.
  5. You decide how to manage the money and organise your support. There are 5 main ways to choose from - please see the next answer to find out more.
  6. You get to enjoy doing the things that you have planned!
  7. You can decide to make some changes to your plan. If so, you go back to step 3 and go through the steps again.

5 ways to manage your money

  • By a Care Manager or social services

Social services look after your money and they pay for the services that you choose.

This might mean that you can only choose services that your local authority has approved.

  • Direct payment

You can choose to have the money paid directly to you. It should go in a separate bank account from your other money.

If you want someone you trust to look after this account for you, you need to get permission from your local authority.

You can use the money how you like, as long as it meets the needs described in your assessment and support plan (once the plan has been agreed).

You can choose whichever organisations you like to support you.

You can choose to employ your own staff to support you. If you do, you might need to use some of your money to pay for a Payroll service to help you manage the legal side of being an employer, if you cannot manage this yourself.

  • Payment to a Trust

If the local authority agrees that you cannot or do not want to manage your own money, a group of people who you trust can set up a legal organisation called a Trust for you. The group of people will then manage the money for you.

You can choose whichever organisations you like to support you.

If you want to employ your own staff, you might still need to pay for a Payroll service if no one in your Trust can manage the legal side.

  • By a support broker, agent or advocate

You can use some of your money to pay an independent broker, social worker or advocate to manage the money for you. If you want to employ your own staff, you should find a broker, social worker or advocate who can manage the Payroll.

You can choose whichever organisations you like to support you.

  • Individual Service Fund

The money from your budget is looked after for you by a service provider such as Papworth Trust.

The service provider will only spend your money on your services and on the management and support needed to provide your services.

You can choose whichever organisations you like to support you.

 

I need more information and advice

If you're not sure whether a Personal Budget is right for you, or you'd like to find out more, you can contact:

  • Papworth Trust by phone on 0800 952 5000 or by email at info@papworthtrust.org.uk or text us on 07860 021 210
  • your local Citizens Advice Bureau.