Personal budgets

Managing your personal budget

Once you have your personal budget you will need to decide how to manage it. You have four choices: 

  • to take all of your personal budget as a payment to arrange and pay for your own support (this is called a ‘direct payment’) 
  • to ask us to arrange and pay for the support you have chosen 
  • to ask another organisation to arrange and pay for the support you have chosen 
  • to choose a mixture of the above 
If you have a direct payment we are able to provide you with a prepaid card account. The money is then made into this account alongside any contributions you have been financially assessed to make.
 
You will be expected to complete a service agreement. This is a contract between you and us and sets out what the money can and can’t be spent on. You can then start to organise your own support and services.

If you ask us to arrange all or some of your support for you, your social worker or care co-ordinator will organise the help that has been agreed with you in your support plan.
 
Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) can help you use your direct payment – for example to set up your services and recruit your own personal assistants. 
 

You can also go to the Skills for Care website and use the toolkit called ‘employing personal assistants’.

Employing a personal assistant

Employing a personal assistant will mean they need to pay tax. You should look at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website for information about employing a personal assistant and the regulations about tax and other employer responsibilities.

KCIL can help arrange for a payroll service to pay your personal assistant and ensure you keep up to date with tax and National Insurance (NI) payments due to the HMRC. The cost of the payroll service is included in your budget. But it is important you sign an agreement with the provider of your payroll service that protects your interests and also ensures you are not personally liable for any sums of money due to the HMRC.

Keeping records

It is important you keep records about how you spend your personal budget. This must include bank statements or bank summaries and receipts. You will need to show that your personal budget has been spent on the needs you identified in your support plan. You will also need to show that your contribution has been paid into your personal budget account.

Making sure it is working

Between 6-8 weeks we will contact you (and your carer if you have one) to ask if you’re happy with your support and things are working well – we call this a ‘review’. If your support needs, or the needs of your carer, have changed, the amount of support may need to increase or decrease and we will discuss this with you. 

If we have concerns about how you are managing your personal budget we will discuss these with you and help you resolve any problems you are having. However if we find your personal budget has not been spent on the support identified in your support plan or is misused, we will reclaim any money and will withdraw your personal budget.