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Personal Budgets and Direct Payments explained

What is a Personal Budget?

A Personal Budget is an amount of money that Kirklees Council sets aside for an individual to pay for a service they need.

It is a way to give families choice and control over how to meet ‘unmet’ support needs.

An example of an unmet need:  A person needs help to eat or drink but they do not have any support e.g. a family member to help them

Personal Budget can be a good option if more ‘traditional’ support is not working for you and you need a more personalised package of support.

Who can have a Personal Budget?

Personal Budget are available to children, young people and adults over the age of 18 who are assessed as having unmet needs in one or all of the following areas: education, health (including wheelchairs) and social care.

For some people, their Personal Budget may be used to meet a combination of these areas.

How do you get a Personal Budget?

To have a Personal Budget, you would require an assessment of need by an appropriate practitioner.  

An appropriate practitioner could be and educational psychologist, health professional or social worker.

If this assessment identifies some unmet needs which are eligible for support you can make choose whether to receive your support via a Personal Budget. 

Please see the sections below for the different types of Personal Budgets.

  • You can only have a Personal Budget for education provision if you have an EHCP in place.
  • Requests for a Personal Budget can be made when an EHCP is created or at an annual review.  This request is usually made once an educational professional has identified an unmet need as part of the initial assessment or an assessment for an annual review.
  • Requests for a Personal Budget will be considered by SENDACT. The contact details for SENDACT are 01484 456888 or 
  • You can find out more about EHCP Personal Budgets on the Personal Budgets (Education) page on the Local Offer.

Personal budgets are available from both Children's and Adult's Social Care

Following an assessment of need, a support plan will be created which describes:

  • what your assessed needs are
  • the outcomes you need or wish to achieve
  • which needs the council will meet and how we will meet them
  • information and advice on how to prevent, reduce or delay your future needs for social care

You will be consulted and involved in putting together your support plan so you can share your views and preferences. You will receive a copy of both your assessment and your support plan.

Support plans are reviewed within the first few months of receiving and on an annual basis after that. You can also request a review of your support plan at any time.

More details can be found below.

Assessment will be undertaken by a Social Worker or Community Assessment and Support Officer (CASO).

When you have been allocated your personal budget, it may be managed in one (or a combination) of the options below:

  • Direct Payments - you are given your budget as a Direct Payment and organise any care and support yourself
  • The Council arranges and provides support
  • The Council arranges for another person or agency to provide a service
  • A combination of the above - where you would like to take some of your Personal Budget as a direct payment and the rest as a virtual budget (the council help to manage some elements of your support)

To receive support from Adult Social Care, individuals will be means tested under the Adult Social Care Charging Policy, more information about this can be found on the Kirklees Paying for social care as an adult page (opens a new page).  

To find out more about Personal Budgets in Adult Social Care visit the Direct Payments information page (opens a new page) or speak to Gateway to Care on 01484 414933.

In children’s social care the Personal Budget is referred to as a ‘Direct Payment’. Assessment will be undertaken by a social worker or early support worker. If a child/young person has a disability then the Children with a Disability Service will undertake an assessment of needs and a Personal Budget (Direct Payment) can be considered to meet these needs.

To find out more about eligibility and Personal Budgets in Children’s Services visit the Children With a Disability information page (opens a new page) or speak to the Children’s Services Duty and Assessment team on 01484 456848.

You can have a Personal Budget for health needs (known as Personal Health Budget) if you have a Health Care and Support Plan and are eligible for Continuing Healthcare (including Fast Track funding).

Assessment for Personal Health Budgets is undertaken by a continuing healthcare specialist nurse within the Personal Health Budgets Team.

  • For more information on continuing healthcare eligibility and how to request an assessment for continuing healthcare, visit our Continuing Healthcare page

If you meet the eligibility for continuing healthcare, you can request a Personal Budget to be used in the following ways:

  • A Direct Payment made to the young person or their family
  • The agreement of a notional budget to be spent by the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) following discussions with the child or young person, and their family (or other representative) as to how best to get the provision they need
  • The transfer of a real budget agreed as above, to a person or organisation which applies the money in a way agreed between the CCG and the child or young person, and their family (or other representative)
  • A Personal Wheelchair Budget is a resource available to support people’s choice of wheelchair, either within NHS commissioned services or outside NHS commissioned services
  • You can find out more about Wheelchair Personal Budgets and how to get them on our Wheelchair Services page

Choosing to receive your Personal Budget via a Direct Payment means that you are able to manage your own budget and support (supported by parent/carers or responsible adults where necessary). You may choose to do this by employing your own personal assistant (PA) or care agency. The important thing is that the support you arrange meets the outcomes agreed in your support plan/child in need plan.

What are the benefits of a Direct Payment?

  • You arrange and manage your own support
  • You have more choice in who helps support you
  • Support can be more flexible and creative and fit around your life and needs

What do I need to take in to account before I consider a Direct Payment?

Managing a Direct Payment can be quite time consuming and it is important that if you choose to manage your support in this way you are clear of what is involved. To find out more about these responsibilities visit the Kirklees Direct Payment page (opens a new page) which provides Direct Payment guidance and policy.

You can also call Gateway to Care (Adults) on 01484 414933 or the Duty and Assessment team (Children’s) on 01484 456848 who can advise you.

Direct Payment arrangements are reviewed annually and will require a reassessment of needs to make sure the budget still meets your needs.

Misuse of Direct Payment funds can result in the Direct Payment agreement being withdrawn.

Last updated: 23/11/2021