ARRANGING ADULT CARE

Personal budgets & direct payments

"I want to understand the options for managing my personal budget."

Budget managed by you or a relative

Do you want to continue living at home?

We know it's important to stay as independent for as long as possible, in your own home.

You can arrange and pay for your own care with the help of direct payments.

Your personal budget can be paid to either:

  • yourself
  • someone you choose to manage the money for you, such as your son or daughter (this person should be there to help you with your choices, listen to you and respect your opinion).

This option may be ideal if you:

  • want more flexibility with how your care and support is arranged and provided
  • would like to choose your care workers or personal assistants
  • have had a specific person recommended to you who you wish to employ
  • are confident with managing money and employing people.

How it works

  • Sign an agreement

    Hide

    You’ll need to sign a direct payment agreement, this shows:

    • how much money you will receive
    • what you must contribute towards the cost of your support
    • how your direct payment money should be used, for example, if it is to be used to buy different services or support
    • terms and conditions of your direct payment.
  • Set up an account to receive payments

    Show

    You can receive your direct payment money through either an prepaid card account or a self managed account.

  • Pay in your contributions

    Show

    Each week you pay in the amount that your financial assessment has shown you can pay towards your care (if any). This money will be used up first when you pay for your care.

  • We pay in your personal budget

    Show

    Every 4 weeks we’ll make a direct payment into your account. We’ll aim to make the first payment to you within 2 weeks of the relevant paperwork being completed.

Receiving your direct payment

You must have one of the following accounts to receive your direct payment.

Prepaid card account (AllPay)

We can set up a prepaid card account for you. The account will be in your name and provided by AllPay. Your account will have a prepaid (debit) card linked to it (like you would get from your bank).

AllPay account benefits

With an AllPay account you can:

  • make secure payments for your care, without the worry that you will go overdrawn as spending is limited to the amount in your account
  • check your balance, access recent transactions and set up standing orders or transfers at any time - either online or via telephone banking
  • make cash withdrawals at an ATM (with prior agreement from us)
  • pay your own contribution in from your own bank account via standing order or faster payments
  • receive notifications and alerts to help you manage your account

Also:

  • you won’t need to provide us with as much information when we audit your account - as we’ll be able to access reports in your direct payment account
  • you don’t need a secondary account holder with AllPay (unless you want one).

What we need to set up an AllPay account

To set up your prepaid account, we’d need to check your identity to make sure your address and National Insurance Number are correct. You will not need a credit check. You’ll receive your card within 5 working days of the identity check being completed.

Self managed account (current account)

Your direct payment can be paid into a bank account, such as a standard current account.

This account must:

  • be separate from your own personal bank account
  • only be used to manage your care and support costs
  • be a joint account.
Account holders

Your account should be set up with account holders as follows:

  • managing your own personal budget - the account should be in your name and the name of someone, not an employee, who can help manage your account if you are unable to. For example, if you were in hospital the other person could sort out paying your staff

  • someone managing your personal budget for you - the account would need to be in their name and one other person, such as their husband, brother or sister.

Managing your direct payment

It's important that you spend your money carefully and keep records to provide to us.

Spending your direct payment

When you spend your direct payment you must make sure that you meet all the needs that are in your care and support plan.

If it's in your plan, you could spend it on:

  • a personal assistant
  • support from a care agency
  • respite care at home
  • a short break in a care home
  • transport.

You cannot spend it on:

  • living costs, such as food, gas, electricity, water bills, council tax, rent
  • household repairs
  • general furniture and household electrical items
  • alcohol or tobacco products
  • gambling
  • debt repayment
  • funeral expenses
  • goods or services that are the responsibility of the NHS
  • anything that has not been agreed in your care and support plan.

Checking your spending

As you are managing your own budget, our direct payment support service will give you advice on how to set up and manage your records.

Make sure you keep all evidence of what you spend in a safe place. This might be:

  • receipts
  • invoices
  • copies of staff wage slips and timesheets.

You’ll need to provide this information to us at regular intervals for us to review and make sure you are using your budget on the things detailed in your care and support plan.

Please note: we will ask to reclaim any unspent funds, or any money that has been spent on things that are not detailed in your care and support plan.