Personal budgets are for the cost of any care and support we assess you as needing. If you are having community-based (non-residential) services, you have the choice of arranging your own services, or asking for us to arrange them (as we do for all residential services).
Who can have a personal budget?
We want to make sure that people with the greatest needs get the most support. This means that to get a personal budget from us, you must be eligible for care and support in accordance with the Care Act 2014 You must;
- live in Sandwell;
- be aged 18 or over;
- need care and support in your own home or the community; and
- have a situation that is not likely to change for some time
We do a care and support assessment first to find this out – please contact us if you want more information or want to start the process.
How much money will you get?
If your care and support needs are high enough, we will give you an estimate of how much you might get as a personal budget based on the care and support needs we have assessed.
We also have to look at your financial situation to work out if you need to contribute towards the cost of your care and support – for more information, please see our webpage Paying for care at home. This explains how your contribution (if any – not everyone has to pay one) is calculated and about the payment options available.
The final amount depends on the actual cost of your care and support services and on your personal financial circumstances. If your income and savings are above the limits set by the government, you will not be eligible to have care and support or a personal budget. However, we can still do a care and support plan with you, so you know what services are available and how to get them. There is no charge for this.
Managing your personal budget
We will meet with you to put together your care and support plan, which is specific to your needs. It shows how you will spend your personal budget to meet your care and support needs. Once this plan has been agreed, you will be able to choose how you would like to manage your budget.
There are three options for you in which your budget and your care and support services is organised and managed. It is up to you how much responsibility you will have: whatever you decide, you can contact us at any time if you are worried or need some help.
Managing your personal budget yourself or with assistance
You may want to manage your personal budget, pay for, and organise your support yourself by taking your personal budget as a as a Direct Payment.
If you decide to do this, we can arrange support services to help you in dealing with this. In some circumstances, we can pay the money to a relative or friend, and they can manage the budget for you.
We will pay your direct payments directly into a pre-paid card account for you to pay for your services. If you are expected to contribute towards your care and support yourself, you will need to pay your contribution into the same account. Follow the link above to find out more.
We can manage your personal budget for you
We can manage your personal budget for you if you are worried about doing this yourself – we will arrange services with our contracted providers and will be responsible for managing these for you. We will deal with all payments to these providers.
If you choose this way of using your personal budget, you will have to pay your contribution (if any) towards the cost of your care and support direct to the council – we will invoice you for this.
A combination of the choices above
You can manage some of your personal budget and your care and support services with a direct payment, and we can manage some of it for you. Such a mixed arrangement may be ideal if some of your services are complicated or irregular and you would rather not deal with them directly.