1 What is a personal budget?
If your needs are high or complex you may be entitled to funding from the County Council. You will need to have been assessed as eligible for funded social care support and provide information about your income and savings.
The money you receive is called a personal budget. We can either pay this to you to manage as a 'direct payment', manage the budget for you or mix these options.
2 Direct payments
Direct payments are where we make payments directly to you or an appointed suitable person. This is someone who can act on your behalf, such as a family member.
If you choose this method, you can arrange and pay for your own support instead of using the services we provide.
The money is paid into a bank account that will need to be set up specifically for this purpose.
You will need to give us bank statements for the direct payment account and you will be expected to keep a record of how you have spent the money.
Spending your direct payment
Direct payments can only be used to pay for support set out in your support plan. It cannot be used for other things, such as:
- health care
- general household bills or living costs
- residential or nursing care home fees, unless it's for short periods of care.
If you have more than eight weeks of your personal budget allocation which you have not spent, we will look into the reasons why this has happened. If you have a direct payment and the accrual has not been agreed with your social care worker, you will be expected to return this money to us.
3 Council-managed budget
A council-managed budget is where we manage your personal budget and arrange your support.
This can be because:
- you wish to use services provided by the County Council, as our services cannot be purchased directly
- you do not wish to manage the money yourself
- you are not able to consent to receive direct payments because you are not able to make decisions for yourself and there isn't a 'suitable person' who can manage the personal budget on your behalf.
A council managed budget can be used for:
- care provided in your home (domiciliary care) by an independent provider
day care provided by an independent provider or by us
- residential or nursing home respite (short-term) care
- outreach support, for example, practical support in your home or local community.