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Personal budgets & direct payments

A personal budget is an amount of money allocated by your Local Authority to meet your care and support needs. They are available for both people with support needs and also for carers.

Personal budgets and direct payments give you the freedom and flexibility over how your care and support is arranged and provided to meet your needs. You’ll be in control, so you can make choices about the kinds of support you’d like and who you’d like to be supported by. We’re here to support all of your care, leisure, social, cultural and wellbeing needs.

Who can choose to have a personal budget?

An assessment by your Local Authority will identify if you are eligible for support and a personal budget will be set based on your individual needs.

Once an amount of money to meet your care and support needs and a funding method has been agreed, you’ll be supported to develop a care and support plan. The plan will outline how you’d like to choose to spend the money to meet your support needs.

What are the options for managing a personal budget?

There are a number of ways you can choose for your personal budget to be managed:

  • A direct payment – a payment that is made directly to you (or a nominated or authorised person) so you can arrange and pay for support yourself.
  • A managed account – you choose for your Local Authority to organise your support for you.
  • A third party arrangement – you choose an organisation to hold your personal budget and help you decide how to spend it. This includes an Individual Service Fund (ISF) – a budget that a support provider manages on your behalf.
  • A combination of any of the options above.

You have the right to request a direct payment to meet your eligible needs if you can manage a direct payment alone or with help. An authorised person can manage your direct payment if you lack capacity, however your Local Authority will need to agree that the person will act in your best interests.

Personal health budgets

We also support people with personal health budgets – an amount of money based on identified health and wellbeing needs. This budget is agreed between you and your local NHS team.

A personal health budget enables you to plan and choose how you’d like to use the money to meet your health and care needs. The aim is to give you flexibility over how your support is arranged and provided.

An integrated health and care personal budget is where the budget includes funding from both the local authority and the NHS.

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