Personal budgets for carers

Find out about the personal budgets available for carers who are looking after someone who is living with dementia. 

Can carers get a personal budget?

If you are a carer, you have a right to an assessment of your own needs by the local authority. This is called a carer’s assessment and the aim is to support you to continue to care for as long as you want to and are able to.

This right applies even if you live separately from the person you care for. It also applies if the person you care for does not want to have their own needs assessment. Local authorities have a duty to meet any eligible care needs identified in the assessment.

For more information see Assessment for care and support in England, Assessment for care and support in Wales, or Care assessment process in Northern Ireland.

Once you have been assessed, you should be told the outcome of the assessment and a support plan should be agreed. If you need support, it can be arranged by the local authority or you will be offered a direct payment to meet your needs in a more flexible way.

How can a carer use their personal budget?

The payment must be used to help you achieve the outcomes as defined in your support plan. It is to help you to keep caring for the person and helps you maintain your health and wellbeing. Direct payments can pay for various things, including taxi fares, gym membership, driving lessons, counselling and adult learning.

The local authority has the power to charge carers for services that are provided directly by them or via a direct payment. There will be a financial assessment, but income from any work that you or your partner do is not taken into account in this assessment. Any replacement care (also known as ‘respite care’) provided for the person you care for cannot be included as part of your personal budget amount. It must be paid for by the person you care for from their personal budget, as it is them receiving the care.