A Personal Budget is the sum of money the council assesses you as requiring, to meet your care and support needs. The Personal Budget is to pay for your care and support needs each week.
There are three ways to use your Personal Budget, and your Social Worker will work with you to help you decide which option (or options) is best for you.
The three ways to use your Personal Budget are listed below.
- An Arranged Service is when the council manages your Personal Budget on your behalf and chooses your care services for you. This may include purchasing services from a local care agency or day centre.
You have no responsibilities to manage your Personal Budget as the council will ensure that everything is set up and the care providers paid etc.
- A Direct Payment is when the council gives you your Personal Budget and you arrange / purchase your own care and support needs. This may include hiring a Personal Assistant (PA).
You have full control and choice over who provides your care. You take full responsibility for your care needs, who works for you, when and how. You take responsibility for finding the care that you want and paying for that care using your Personal Budget.
- An Individual Service Fund (ISF) is when the council gives your Personal Budget to an independent agency. You choose who this agency is, but they must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
This agency will work with you to design, arrange, and manage the support you want, based on what was agreed in your support plan. The agency then sets this up for you. The independent agency takes responsibility for managing your Personal Budget. They will help you to find the care that you want. If you want to hire a PA, they will help you to do this and manage all the financial aspects of paying the PA from your Personal Budget, so you don't need to worry about it.