Information about personal budgets, direct payments, how we work out what people contribute and how to get independent financial advice.
There are some services that are free.
People’s lives shouldn’t have to stop because they are disabled or have a long-term illness. We aim to make sure people can get the support they need to enable them to continue to live in the way they want.
We offer two kinds of support arrangement:
Crisis support focuses on making sure people’s immediate needs are met, helping them to recover and to become independent. Many people only need crisis support.
Self-directed support aims to put people in charge of their own support arrangements. People are offered a personal budget which they are encouraged to manage themselves, or with help from family and friends. We can also make arrangements on people's behalf.
We set the amount of the personal budget based on a shared assessment. Personal budgets can be used flexibly to overcome obstacles to living the way you want caused by illness or disability. For instance:
You will need to agree a support plan with us, setting out how you will use your personal budget. We will check this is safe and legal. We can help you to draw up support plans, or if you want you can do it yourself.
We will review your personal budget and your support plan at intervals to check whether any changes are needed.
You can find out more about how we work out what people contribute below.
Direct payments are made to people who require support at home, day care, short breaks or special equipment and who wish to organise these services themselves.
Under our direct payments scheme, we pay you the cost of the service and you can then make your own arrangements.
Anyone aged 16 or over, assessed by a care manager as needing community care, has a right to opt for direct payments, though there are a few restrictions:
Direct payments can be used to pay for:
They can not be used to pay for:
Direct payments are based on the amount and type of care you need. This is assessed by a care manager.
You can choose to receive direct payments for all your care, or only for some parts of it.
We will agree a reasonable cost for the care, including money for recruiting staff, insurance, wages and other costs such as national insurance, holiday, sickness and maternity pay. Usually this will be based on an hourly rate for the care needed.
We cannot pay more than it would cost if we arranged the service ourselves.
We will assess how much you can afford to pay yourself towards the cost of your support, using the same rules that apply to charges for services. You either pay this separately or have it subtracted from your direct payments.
If you choose direct payments, you will have to:
The person receiving direct payment must be able to make decisions about the support they buy in, but they can get help with the day-to-day management of things like paperwork. This can come from us, from family or friends, or through legal arrangements like a trust or power of attorney.
For instance, you may want help with:
You will continue to have a care manager, who reviews your circumstances regularly. If your needs have changed, or if the rules about how much support we can provide have changed, this may lead to an increase or reduction in payments.
We would also do an annual check on how you are using the money and what services you have arranged.
No, a personal budget is how much money you are eligible to receive to pay for your support, based on the new system called self-directed support. It is calculated based on an assessment of your needs.
Direct payments are just one way in which people can be given their personal budget.
Direct payments will not affect your social security benefits or tax liabilities.
You can ask at any time to stop getting direct payments and change to services arranged by us. If your needs are complex, we will need some notice to sort this out.
To find out more, talk to your care manager, or contact:
Direct payments team
Adult social care
As a general guide, since April 2018 people with savings of more than £23,250 were expected to pay the maximum charge, and pensions and other income were also taken into account. Please check information sheet C8 on paying for care and support for the latest information on charges for support if you are living at home, or information sheet C9 for charges for people living in a care home.
You can find all our information sheets here.
If you have care and support needs, or if you are a carer, this may affect many areas of your life, including your financial commitments. This section explains some of the issues you may need to think about. Contact details for organisations are in the next section.
Financial issues about paying for care and support services
Costs and contract terms for care and support services which you arrange yourself.
Charges for care and support services which we arrange.
"Deferred payments" when moving into a care home
Specific financial issues for carers
Getting access to bank accounts and savings accounts of the person you are looking after, if they have become unable to do so themselves
Additional day-to-day costs (e.g. because you have a special diet, or you have higher heating costs, or you need to use taxis to get around).
Making choices about where to live – for instance to make sure that help is on hand when you need it, or that you don't become isolated.
You may have to give up work and adjust to a lower income than you had planned.
You may be worried that if your health gets worse you might not be able to look after your own finances. If so, we recommend thinking now about how you would want your affairs to be managed if that happened.
Local advice services
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