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Everyone on self-directed support will have a personal budget. Self-directed support is a new way of providing social care that helps people to take control of their own support. Most local authorities in England and Wales are now working towards self-directed support as the approach for everyone needing social care support.
Having a personal budget means you will:
-Know how much money is available to you to meet your social care needs
-Have a support plan which says what outcomes you want to achieve with that funding
-Be able to choose and control how and when your budget is spent
Some people choose to manage their personal budget as a direct payment. However, you can have a personal budget even if you don't want to manage a direct payment. Your personal budget can be managed by a third party, a Trust or your local authority if you prefer.
For more information on personal budgets and self-directed support in your area, refer to your local authority website or visit www.in-control.org.uk for more general information and background.
A direct payment is a cash payment made directly to you so you can buy your own support rather than having it delivered to you by your local authority. The payment must be enough for you to buy services that meet your care needs and the money must be spent on services that meet those needs.
Many people take a direct payment so that they can employ their own personal assistant. There are direct payment support services available to help you manage your direct payment; Penderels Trust is a leading provider of these services.
You will be required to keep a record of how you spend your direct payment and your local authority will want to see those records, usually once a quarter.
Direct payments are available wherever you live in the United Kingdom and are available to adults with disabilities (including those who lack mental capacity), families of children with a disability and carers. A direct payment cannot be used to purchase residential care or services provided directly by a local authority.
The support services offered to direct payment recipients do vary from one local authority area to another. Here are some questions that we are frequently asked about direct payments.
The support plan
A support plan is a document that sets out what you would like to change in your life and how you will use your personal budget to make those changes. It will also say what support you will need to make those changes. These positive changes can be called goals or 'outcomes'. This plan is also a good way to tell other people what changes you want to make.
You can make your support plan on your own, or with other people (this could be a provider like Penderels Trust, your friends and family or your social worker). The main thing is that you must have a say about what goes into your plan. Your local authority has to agree your support plan.
Your plan doesn't have to be a written document, you can use pictures, photographs, diagrams or CD/DVD.
The things you write in your support plan must be clear and realistic. The support plan is not something to be written and put away in a drawer but referred to and updated regularly.
Your social worker will need to sign off your support plan. They will review your plan regularly to make sure you are happy and that progress is being made towards achieving your goals.
What will my support plan cost?
Your plan must set out what your support will cost. You need to say how much money you will get in your personal budget and how much money you will spend on support.
You may also have funds other than the personal budget you receive from the local authority such as from Independent Living Fund or you may make your own contribution.
What is support brokerage?
You may also hear the term 'Support Brokerage'. This part of the process is about working out how the Support Plan can be achieved. This could be through researching and exploring options available to them, linking in with social networks and identifying education or training options.
Paying for the support planning & brokerage service
How you pay for the support planning service from Penderels Trust will depend on which local authority area you live in. In many areas, the local authority will pay for this service directly. In other areas, you will need to pay for this service out of your Personal Budget. Your social worker will advise you as to the set up in your own area.
Personal Health Budgets
A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your healthcare and wellbeing needs. It works in a similar way to direct payments and personal budgets for support from social services but a personal health budget comes from the NHS.
The NHS want people to be fully involved in decisions about their health and wellbeing and a personal health budget will give you the opportunity to work in partnership with the NHS about how your health and wellbeing needs can best be met.
Similar to a direct payment or personal budget, a care plan is at the centre of your personal health budget. This plan will help you decide your health and wellbeing goals, together with the local NHS team who support you. If you have a personal health budget, you will be able to use it for a range of things to meet your goals, for example personal care and equipment.
There are a number of options as to how a personal health budget works. One option is where you receive the cash to buy the care and support you and your local NHS team decide you need. You have to show what you have spent it on but you (or your representative) will buy and manage the services yourself.
Penderels Trust offers a full range of support services for people who receive a personal health budget. The support services we provide for people receiving a personal health budget are very similar to those we provide for people receiving a direct payment or personal budget for their social care needs. Most of the services you can read about on this website are available for people who have a personal health budget.
For more general information about personal health budgets, please visit http://www.personalhealthbudgets.england.nhs.uk/
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