Personal budgets

A personal budget is an amount of money allocated to you that will meet your care and support needs.

To find out if you are eligible you must first have a needs assessment. The assessment includes questions about your personal situation and what you want to be able to do.

The assessment allows us to decide if you need support and how much support you need.

Indicative personal budget

If the assessment finds that you are eligible, we will offer you a personal budget. The size of the budget depends on the needs you have told us about in the assessment.

This is called your indicative personal budget. The final amount is not agreed until later.

Next steps

Once you know your indicative personal budget, you will need to make a support plan.Your support plan shows:

  • what support you need
  • what services or activities you plan to spend your personal budget on to meet your needs
  • what plans you have for an emergency for example, if your carer is ill
  • any risks there are in your plan.

Your social care worker will help you to complete your support plan. A friend, family member or independent advocate may also help you.

What happens next

We'll agree your final support plan and confirm your personal budget. You'll receive a copy of your support plan.

Then you can begin to receive your personal budget.

Ways to receive your personal budget

There are three ways to receive your personal budget:​

  • direct payment – a cash payment we give you to buy the services and activities you need yourself, giving you control and responsibility over your own support. You may, for example, choose to employ a Personal Assistant with your direct payment
  • If someone doesn't have the mental capacity to request direct payments, it's possible for an authorised person to request the direct payment and take on responsibility for them. This will usually be a carer, family member or friend
  • managed personal budget – we will arrange the services to meet your support needs for you. This is helpful if you are not able to, or don’t want to manage your own finances
  • mixed personal budget – you can arrange part of your support yourself using a direct payment and we will arrange the rest.

If you have any questions about these options talk to your social care worker. If you do not have a social care worker, get in touch with Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care.

Paying towards your support

Most people, although not all, need to pay something towards their personal budget.

We will work out how much you need to contribute towards your personal budget after you have completed a financial assessment.

Reviewing your personal budget

If you receive direct payments we will review your personal budget regularly to make sure that you have spent the money on the support services you need, as described in your support plan.

We will also check that these services have met your needs, check to see if any changes are needed and if you are still eligible.