Personal budgets and direct payments
If you are eligible for financial assistance for your home care needs, your options for arranging these services can seem confusing. At Eleanor Home Care, we want to make it easy for you decide which way forward is right for you.
The government wants as many people as possible to take control of their own social care – the kind of care that helps people to stay independent at home – including through having their own personal budgets.
Put simply, a personal budget is the total funding allocated to you after you have been assessed by your local authority as needing help, taking into account your needs and financial circumstances.
You can receive your personal budget in the form of a direct payment – a cash payment made to you (or to someone on your behalf) if you would like to arrange, choose and pay for the services you need yourself.
For example, you can use the money to:
- employ an agency like Eleanor Home Care to provide care
- employ a personal assistant
- buy equipment
- pay for day care.
You can also top up the direct payment with your own money if you would like more care or support than the direct payment will pay for.
If you decide to use your direct payment to fund services from Eleanor Home Care, you will benefit from the extra freedom and choice this arrangement brings, without the responsibility of directly employing support workers.
We will take care of all the recruitment, employment and other administration involved, including payroll services. Direct payments must be kept separately from your other money and we can also hold your money for you if you wish, completely independently of our own company finances.
There is another arrangement that gives you more control over your care called an individual service fund. In this case, your local council pays your funding directly to the home care provider of your choice, like Eleanor Home Care. You then tell the provider directly which services you want them to provide in return for the money, in line with your support plan, which can include services bought from other providers.
The provider manages the money on your behalf and must show you how it is using the money.