1. What is a Personal Budget?

1.1 What is a Personal Budget?

A Personal Budget is calculated following the completion and authorisation of a care and support plan, or an Education, Health and Care Plan for a young person aged 16-25 with Special Educational Needs or disabilities. The care and support plan enables the council to calculate how much money is needed to provide the care and support a person needs.

Personal Budgets are an important way of helping people get access to services that are personalised to their specific needs. A Personal Budget is the amount of money that can be spent on care and support.

This money can be taken as a Direct Payment (see Direct Payments Procedure) which means people can purchase the support to help them meet their identified outcomes directly, rather than having to use council-arranged services. The amount of money allocated to each person is known as their Personal Budget.

1.2 What is an Indicative Personal Budget?

The Indicative Personal Budget is calculated on the basis of the assessment of need carried out in line with eligibility criteria. It is an approximate indication of what it may cost to meet the person’s needs as indicated in their assessment.

2. Who can get a Personal Budget?

Anyone who has been assessed by adult social care as having needs for support and services under the councils’ eligibility criteria will be given a Personal Budget.

Young people aged 16-25 with Special Educational Needs or disabilities who have an Education, Health and Care Plan have the right to request a Personal Budget, which may contain elements of education, social care and health funding.

The Personal Budget can be managed in a number of ways so that the person receives the services and support that they need (see Section 4, What Options do People have to Manage their Personal Budget?).

3. What can/cannot a Personal Budget be used for?

Personal Budgets may be used for any element of care and support that allows a person to achieve their support outcomes as set out in the care and support plan, i.e. assistance to meet their eligible social care needs identified at the assessment stage. The Personal Budget should be utilised to maximise an individual’s health, wellbeing, safety and independence. The money should be used in a legal, reasonable and efficient manner.

Personal Budgets may not be used for:

  • Anything illegal;
  • Long-term residential care;
  • Food and drink;
  • Gambling;
  • Debt repayments or financial investment.

4. What options do people have to manage their Personal Budget?

There are four main options for managing a Personal Budget:

1. Self-managed personal budget (SMPB);

The Personal Budget is paid into the person’s account so they can purchase support directly. They may get assistance from a trusted friend or family member to help them manage their budget;

It takes the form of a direct payment from council to the person;

(Most flexibility, choice, responsibility);

2. Third party-managed personal budget (3PMB);

The personal budget is paid into the account of a third party individual or organisation that holds the money for the person and purchases support on their behalf and under their instruction;

It takes the form of a direct payment from council to third party;

3. Council-managed personal budget (CMPB);

The personal budget is managed by the council and the support a person receives is from council-commissioned services only (block and spot contracts only);

(Least flexibility, choice, responsibility);

4. Mixed personal budget (MPB);

This is a combination of any of the above options.

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