A personal budget is a statement of the amount of money needed to meet your eligible social care needs. It allows you (or your representative) to control the financial resources for your support and the way the support is provided to you.
Young people and parents of children who have Education Health and Care plans have the right to request a Personal Budget, which may contain elements of education, social care and health funding. The request can be made either during a statutory assessment (at the draft Plan stage), or when an Education Health and Care plan is being reviewed or re-assessed. “A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provision set out in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision” (Children and Families Act 2014, Section 49).
A Personal budget is the route to achieving independent living based on the social model of disability. It assists disabled people to live an active life and participate in society. It enables you to achieve your outcomes stated in your personalising care and support planning.
How much you want to be involved in managing your budget is up to you. There are different options to choose from: Direct payments- where individuals receive the cash to contract, purchase and manage the services themselves
–An arrangement – whereby the local authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the EHC plan (these are sometimes called notional budgets)
–Third party arrangements – where funds (direct payments) are paid and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent or the young person–A combination of the above.
The potential impact of a personal budget:
Personal budget promotes flexibility, choice, control and quality of life. It aims to give disabled people/carers (who use social care services and health services) the ability to take charge of the support they require in order to live independently and be in control of the care they choose that best meets their needs. Via the personal budget, you are empowered to live the life you choose by seeing how much money is available to buy the care you need.
Personal Budgets: the council’s duty:
Your local authority must:
- inform you how they calculated your personal budget
- ensure that the budget is sufficient to meet your needs
- consider the local cost for the type of services you require, and that care may cost more if your needs are complex
- notify you of what your budget is in good time, so that you can start planning your support once you know how much money is available.