Personal budgets & direct payments

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

About personal budgets

Do you want to continue living at home?

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

If you have care and support needs, you may qualify for a personal budget.

A personal budget puts you, or someone you trust, in control of the care and support you receive. This means you can:

  • consider what personal goals you have
  • find care and support services that will help you meet those goals
  • spend your personal budget on the care and support services that you feel will best meet your needs
  • enjoy the flexibility of being able to access the care and support services whenever and wherever is best for you.

Are you:

How it works

There's a process that we must follow before you can be given a personal budget:

  • Needs assessment


    You'll have a needs assessment so we can identify what:

    • your care needs are (often referred to as 'eligible needs')
    • kind of care and support you need.
  • Care and support plan


    Your needs assessment will give us an idea of the care and support you need, and we’ll be able to estimate how much your personal budget will be.

    Using this estimate, also known as an ‘indicative budget’, we help you to put together a care and support plan. This will show how you intend to use the money to meet your care needs.

  • Financial assessment


    Once we have an idea of how much your personal budget will be, we can also carry out a financial assessment.

    This will look at your financial situation and work out if you can afford to pay anything towards your personal budget. Most people must contribute something towards their care, and some are required to pay the full amount.

  • Your final personal budget amount


    We'll look at your care and support plan to check we are happy with how you have planned to spend your personal budget. We’ll then approve it.

    You'll receive a letter from us shortly after your financial assessment to confirm:

    • how much money is required for your care needs to be met - this is known as your personal budget
    • the weekly amount you must contribute towards your personal budget
    • the amount that we will pay towards your care - this is the difference between how much money is required for your care needs to be met and the amount you can afford to contribute.

Ways to receive your personal budget

It is your choice how you receive your personal budget. You have 3 options:

Option 1 - Managed by you or a relative

You’ll receive a direct payment from us and manage your own budget. You could also have someone manage it for you, such as a son or daughter.

This option gives you the most control over your budget, including the responsibility of employing your own staff (if you need any).

Option 2 - Managed by a third party

Your money could be managed by a third party, such as your care provider.

This is a great solution if you'd prefer not to be in charge of the money side of things, but still want to make all the decisions about your care.

Option 3 - Managed by the council

We can manage your personal budget and arrange your care for you.

This is a good option if you are worried about managing money and/or staff, and you would prefer for someone to arrange your care for you.

Would you prefer to have a combination?

If you would like to manage some services yourself, and ask us, or a third party, to manage the others, please speak with your support worker. They'll:

  • discuss your requirements
  • make the necessary arrangements.