Buying social care for adults
A Personal Budget is a regular sum of money that can be used to buy the social care you need. It helps you to meet your personal and social needs by enabling you to:
- say what your needs are;
- make choices that are right for you;
- say how and when you want your care and support;
- choose how the money will be spent.
You may be able to have a Personal Budget if you are a:
- person with a physical disability;
- person with a sensory impairment;
- person with a learning disability;
- person who is over 65;
- person with mental health support needs;
- young person with a disability moving into Adult Care;
- parent carer of a disabled child.
The Government has set the levels of need that you must meet to receive social care from the Council. This is to make sure we provide help fairly.
Note: This information does not apply to people under the age of 18. The Council's Children and Young People's Services may be able to help under 18s.
Simple steps to getting a Personal Budget
1. Gateway to Care
To contact Gateway to Care phone: 01422 393000.
The Gateway to Care advisor will talk about what your needs are. We may ask you to try Reablement to help you to regain your independence before using a Personal Budget.
Reablement may last for up to eight weeks and there may be a charge for this service.
If, after Reablement, you still need help we will continue with your application for a Personal Budget.
2. The 'My Outcomes' form
When you apply for a Personal Budget you will be asked to fill in a 'My Outcomes' form.
This helps you look at and tell us about, areas of your life that you want to improve.
It covers all areas of how you live, like personal care needs, keeping safe and being part of your community.
Your friends and family can help you to complete the 'My Outcomes' form. If you have a Social Care worker, they can help too.
We will use the answers you give to check if you are able to have a Personal Budget.
You may have to contribute to your Personal Budget.
If you do, we want to make sure that it is the correct amount.
We will arrange for someone from the Council's Fairer Charging team to visit you at home. They will offer you a benefits check and a financial assessment.
4. Support Plan
If we are able to give you a Personal Budget we will help you to make a Support Plan. The Support Plan will set out how your Personal Budget will be spent to meet your social care need.
Organising your Personal Budget
If you get a Personal Budget, a social care worker will need to talk with you. This is to see how you want your budget to be used.
You can organise your Personal Budget in three different ways:
1. Direct Payments
If you want to manage your own Personal Budget we can pay it to you. You will then be responsible for arranging and paying for your social care support.
For a Personal Budget to be paid to you, you need a separate bank account in your own name. This must have a cheque book facility.
Our Support Planning team can help you with using Direct Payments.
2. Care Managed Service
The Council has Care Managers who can act on your behalf.
They can plan, arrange and organise support for you.
If you choose the Care Managed Service the Council will use you Personal Budget to pay for services for you. So, instead of paying the Personal Budget to you, it goes directly to your service providers.
3. Mixed Budget
You can choose to have a combination of Direct Payment and Care Managed Service if you want.
Personal Budgets and Income Tax / Benefits
It is not considered personal income for these purposes, as it is paid to meet your social care needs.
Note: You do not need to declare your Personal Budget for Tax or Benefit purposes. Any unused Personal Budget will be claimed back by the Council, after your account is audited.