There are two ways to receive your personal budget:

  • Direct payments
  • Council-managed budget

The money can also be managed using a mixture of these options to give you more choice and flexibility in the way your support is provided. Your social care worker will explain the details when you discuss your support plan.

Direct payments

Direct payments are where we make payments direct to you, or to an authorised ‘appointed suitable person’. This is someone, such as a family member, who can act on behalf of a person who is not able to consent to receive a direct payment. This means that you can arrange your own support instead of using the services we provide.

Payments can be made to: 

  • A frail and/or vulnerable older person;
  • A disabled person aged 16 and over, including people with physical impairments, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury;
  • Someone who is responsible for looking after a child aged 16 or under; or
  • A carer aged 16 and over.

The person also has to:

  • Be willing to have direct payments; and
  • Be able to manage the direct payments, either on their own or with some else’s help.

If necessary, a social care or health worker may carry out a mental health assessment to find out whether you are able to make decisions about whether to receive and manage direct payments.

Direct payments are now available to most groups of people eligible for social care support. However, there are some people who are excluded because of certain legal conditions or requirements. We can tell you whether or not this applies to you once we know if you need any help.

Prepaid cards

You, or your representative, will have a debit card and an on-line account for management of your direct payments and personal budgets. The aim of the card is to give you more independence and flexibility. 

Why use them?

  • You will not need to open a separate bank account
  • Money is loaded on to the prepaid cards via BACS, spreadsheet, telephone, online and Pay Point
  • Any spend which is not in accordance with the care plan is addressed in a timely fashion
  • Emergency payments can be made instantly
  • No need to manage paper bank statements securely

Council-managed budgets

A council-managed budget is where we manage your personal budget for you and arrange your support.

This can be because: 

  • You wish to use services provided by us, 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 due to lack of mental capacity, and there isn’t an authorised ‘suitable person’ who can manage the personal budget on your behalf.

We will arrange and pay for the service, but you will need to agree with the provider how and when you want the service.