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Guide to personal budgets

Posted on 29/08/2013

Personal budgets have an important part to play in the personalisation of care and support services. They give power to an individual to pick and choose from a range of local service providers to get exactly the support that they need in their own home, rather than Social Services dictating what services a person should receive.

But what is a ‘personal budget’? It is an allocation of funding from your Local Authority that can be spent as you wish on care and support needs. You do need to go through an assessment to see if you are eligible for Council funding, and this determines how much your personal budget is worth. We have a Funding Checker wizard which you can use to find out if you are likely to receive funding from your Local Authority (if you’re not sure which Local Authority covers you, there is also a handy Postcode Checker).

If you are eligible for financial support to meet your care needs, then it is increasingly likely to be given in the form of a personal budget. You can choose how you receive this money, and how you spend it. You can have the money paid into a bank account as a Direct Payment, which you then spend on the services that you want to provide your care and support. You can also ask the Council to manage the money for you, but still retain the ability to choose your own service provider (though it may have to be from a Council-approved list of providers). You can give the money directly to a service provider to manage for you, and they will look after the money and provide the services needed.

Whatever you decide, you will need to come up with a Care Plan detailing how you plan to spend your personal budget, which will need to be agreed with the Council. There are a range of care and support options for you to choose from. You can opt to employ a paid carer to look after your needs, which means that you can decide exactly what hours you need someone to work and what their specific tasks will be. It can be overwhelming to consider becoming an employer, but we have a guide to the top 12 things you need to do to employ your own paid carer.

If you want to find out more about Personal Budgets, we have a more detailed guide here.

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