The amount of your personal budget will be agreed when your support plan is finalised. You can then use the personal budget to start paying for the support described in your plan. Your social care worker will then agree with you how your personal budget will be paid to you.

You may already know how you want to use the money in your budget. If not, you can take advice from:

  • A family member or friend;
  • A social care worker; or
  • A support service provided by another organisation or person.

What you spend your money on must be:

  • Legal - within the law;
  • Affordable, within the agreed budget;
  • Effective in meeting your social care needs.

We do not give a list of what someone can and cannot spend their money on. That would go against the principles of self-directed support, which offers people more options and greater control.

Some people use their personal budget to employ a personal assistant to help them. It can also be used to buy care, support, or other services from the independent or voluntary sector. You may choose to spend some of your personal budget on other things, such as
transport, services from other organisations or people, or services in your local community. Visit the getting out and about page for more information.

You can use some of your personal budget to pay for transport if you have no other way of getting to an activity that is essential to meet one of your goals or outcomes. If we are funding transport, we will often make shared arrangements. If this is the case, we will not include funding for transport in your personal budget.

Remember that you can use the independent living pages to help you think about the options that are available to you.

Making payments from abroad

The direct payment cannot be used from outside the UK for more than two weeks in a year without written agreement.

If the money is spent on things not covered by your support plan, you may be asked to pay that money back. Your personal budget can not be used for:

  • Health care;
  • General household bills and living costs;
  • Residential or nursing home fees, unless it’s for short periods of care;
  • The wages of certain people such as a close relative who you live with, your spouse, partner or civil partner, unless we have agreed to this because of exceptional circumstances;
  • Adapting your property;
  • Paying for things that do not help to meet the outcomes which are in your support plan; for example, gifts for people who are supporting you.