Choice and control - for people with social care needs
Information for people with social care needs
Working out how much money you need
We use the information from your assessment to work out how much money is available to meet your social care needs. We look at ways of meeting your needs which may work well for you and do not need funding from us. A ‘resource allocation system’ is a fair way to allocate money to anyone who needs support, and we use it for everyone. The money you receive is called your personal budget.
The resource allocation system gives you a ‘provisional’ amount of money so you can start planning your support. There may be some flexibility in the amount you receive if you have higher or more complex needs. If you want details about how we have worked out your provisional budget, please speak to your social care worker.
What’s in your care and support plan?
We want you to be able to get good advice and support when you are planning how to spend your personal budget. Once you have agreed with the social care worker what you want to achieve, you will need to develop a care and support plan which describes how you will use your personal budget to achieve the results you want (your outcomes). You can do this with the social care worker, by yourself (with or without support), or you can ask someone else to do it for you.
One of our staff will help you understand your options and how to get the best support with the money available to you. They will help you think about different ways that you can get support, and they can find the services you need and work out the costs.
Your care and support plan must set out what you want to achieve and how the support will be arranged and delivered. You should think about getting the best value for money when choosing services and developing your plan. You will need to agree your care and support plan with your social care worker. If you are not able to create your own care and support plan because you cannot make decisions for yourself, we will need to be satisfied the person who developed it for you has acted in your best interests.
We will take account of other sources of funding or support when developing your care and support plan. This is because social care funding cannot pay for things such as NHS-funded care, regular household bills or services to meet needs that are already being, or can be met in other ways, such as through family and friends.
When your care and support plan is finished, we will work out how much your personal budget will be. You can then use your personal budget to start paying for the support described in your plan. Your social care worker will then agree with you how we will pay your personal budget.
How we can pay your personal budget
• Direct payments – We pay the money direct to you, or to an ‘authorised person’. This is someone, such as a family member, who can act on your behalf if you are not able to agree to receiving direct payments. Having direct payments means you can arrange your own support instead of using the services we provide. You will have more choice over your care and support with direct payments. You may also have help from someone else to manage your direct payments.
• Council-managed budget – We manage your personal budget. We arrange the support for you and pay for it out of your personal budget.
We can also pay your personal budget using a mixture of these options. Your social care worker will explain the details when you discuss your care and support plan with them.