heart with a beat logo
Paying for care

Direct payments and personal budgets

Personal budget

A personal budget is the whole sum of money that is available to pay for your support.

If you have a personal budget, you will:

  • know the total amount of money there is to pay for your care and support
  • be able to choose how the money is managed
  • be able to choose how the money is used to meet agreed needs and outcomes

You may choose to take all or part of your personal budget as a direct payment. Some people prefer the council to manage their personal budget and arrange services for them. Read more about this in our personal budget options guide.

Direct payments

If you’re eligible for funded care services, direct payments can help you to pay for services yourself, instead of us arranging them for you.

Direct payments help you arrange services to suit you, and fit in with your family and home life. You manage the payments yourself and have more control of your care.

Direct payments could suit you if you:

  • want to take control of your care and support
  • want more choice about services and different kinds of support
  • are confident with money and completing paperwork
  • can keep receipts and invoices safe and give them to social services

You cannot use your direct payment for:

  • permanent residential or nursing care
  • equipment and services that other government funding gives
  • everyday expenses like food, rent or mortgage, household bills
  • anything illegal
  • gambling or buying lottery tickets
  • anything that could make your health worse (for example cigarettes or alcohol)
  • employing someone who lives with you (a 'close person' - except in special circumstances)
  • anything that does not fit with your eligible needs and the outcomes agreed in your support plan

Contact us for information, advice and support on using direct payments. Our support includes help

  • to set up your payments
  • to manage paperwork
  • when you choose to employ a personal assistant