Personal budgets

Find out what a personal budget is, who can receive one, how a personal budget can be used and how it is managed (including the direct payments option).

What are personal budgets?

A personal budget is an amount of money allocated by a local authority to meet a person’s care and support needs. Your local authority will have to carry out a needs assessment to decide if you are eligible for support, and the money can be managed and spent in a number of ways. One of these is called a ‘direct payment’, where the local authority pays you the money directly. A direct payment is designed to give you more control and flexibility over your care and support, by letting you choose how you use the money to meet your needs.

Personal budgets are used in England but in Wales and Northern Ireland there are different systems in place. However, while most of this information applies to England only, the information on direct payments is also relevant in Wales.

How is a personal budget managed?

If you receive a personal budget, it can be managed in a number of ways. You may be able to receive the money yourself as a ‘direct payment’ (and be responsible for spending it), you can ask someone to do it on your behalf, the local authority may be able to manage the budget for you, or it can be paid directly to a care provider who will manage it on your behalf. For more information see Managing a personal budget.

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