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Managing your Personal Budget

If you have a disability and are already receiving help from social services, or you’ve just had a care assessment and you’re eligible for help, you are likely to have been offered the choice of using a personal budget to pay for your care and support.

A personal budget gives you a number of options as to how your needs are met and funded, as well as the support you need to make an informed choice. Its aim is to give you more control, and to ensure that the services you receive meet your particular needs and wishes.

There are currently three ways to manage your Personal Budget.

A Direct Payment

This is where the money is paid directly into your bank account. You need to open a separate bank account which will be used solely for your Personal Budget.

You will need to keep a record of what you have spent your money on and provide bank statements and receipts to the city council on request. You may also be asked for this information by your Care Manager to ensure your Personal Budget is being used as agreed in the Support Plan.

If you have difficulty understanding your Support Plan or managing your Personal Budget you can ask someone else, perhaps a family member or friend, to act as your representative. They can manage your Personal Budget or Support Plan arrangements for you, whilst giving you as much control as you would like. You may want your representative to open a Personal Budget bank account and be responsible for keeping records of costs to send to the city council. They can also help you to manage your support by making any arrangements for you.

If you want to receive your Personal Budget via a Direct Payment it is important that you read and sign the Direct Payment Agreement which you can find on our website.

If you choose to receive your Personal Budget as a Direct Payment, any client contributions will be deducted before the payment is made into your bank account.

Southampton City Council managed

The council can manage your Personal Budget for you. We can arrange support on your behalf from the services we provide or non-council services that we have a contract with. You may choose this option if you are happy with a service you are already receiving and would like it to continue. You may choose for the council to manage your budget if you do not feel able to manage it independently, even with the help of a representative.

If you would like the council to manage your Personal Budget, then we will invoice you for any client contribution.

Mixed budget

Your Personal Budget can be managed by a mixture of the 2 options above. You could choose for the council to continue to arrange some services for you and have the remainder of your Personal Budget as a Direct Payment. For example, you might continue to attend a day service once a week and the council could continue to manage this but you could receive a Direct Payment to pay for a personal assistant to visit each week to help you with your care needs such as having a bath or shower.

If you choose this option, then your client contribution will be deducted from the amount of the Direct Payment that is paid into your bank account.

If you would like advice on how to manage your budget, then contact your care manager for further details.

Further help

For further help please contact the Adult Contact Team on 023 8083 3003.

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