Guide to personal budgets

Step 2 - We work out how much your support will cost - personal budget


If you need long term support after the reablement period and you meet the eligibility criteria, you will complete the supported self assessment questionnaire with one of our social care assessors.

We do the sums based on the questionnaire and tell you how much your support will cost and how much, if anything, we will contribute towards it. This is your estimated personal budget.  You will be asked to complete a financial assessment, and we use this to work out if you need to contribute towards your support and tell you how much you have to pay towards your support.


Personal budgets

A personal budget is the amount of money, following an assessment, which the council thinks is needed to help to live independently and safely at home. If you are eligible for support we will tell you the amount of money that we think will meet the cost of meeting your assessed needs.


We arrive at this figure after you have filled in the support self assessment questionnaire with us. This includes some questions about you and your situation, which we call as assessment. This helps us to identify what your needs are. If you are eligible for support from the council we will then work out a potential budget that you can spent to meet your needs.


A personal budget puts you in control of the support you receive, and gives you flexibility about when you receive support, and  choice  about who provides support for you. You can spend your personal budget in almost any way you choose, as long as it helps to meet the support needs and outcomes identified by you and your assessing officer.


We will also arrange for a financial assessment to see if you need to make a contribution towards the cost of support. Depending on your income, savings and assets, such as your home, you may have to make a contribution to the cost of your support.

You can choose to manage your personal budget in a number of ways:


  • take the whole personal budget as a direct payment so you can organise the support yourself or by someone else on your behalf
  • ask the council to arrange the care and support on your behalf and to pay for it directly
  • have a combination of both - take part of the personal budget as a direct payment and ask the council to manage the rest for you.


For example you can choose to employ your own personal assistant through direct payments, but have the council arrange and pay for other services on your behalf.

Taking your personal budget as a direct payment means that you have far more control over how the money is spent. It means that you can have flexibility, choice and more control over the support you need to help you do things that are important to you.

We want to support unpaid carers as well, so we are introducing personal budgets for carers.