Personal budgets and direct payments

If you are eligible for funding from social care and / or health, you may be entitled to a personal budget and a direct payment to yourself or a nominated person on your behalf. If you would like a personal budget but do not want to manage the budget yourself, you could choose to have a managed account where a nominated person or organisation manages this for you.

A Personal Budget is an allocation of money available to you from Knowsley Council sufficient to meet your assessed social care and/or health needs.

You may wish to:

  • continue to use services that you currently use or want to use and ask Knowsley Council to arrange them for you on your behalf, known as direct services, or
  • take the money and arrange your own services, known as direct payments, or
  • have a mixture of both

The amount of money you are awarded is based on the 'eligible needs’ you have at that time. Eligible needs are those which Knowsley Council has a duty to support you with.

Direct Payments

If a disability, mental health or age related condition or chronic illness seriously affects your independence and quality of life, you may be eligible to receive your personal care budget through a direct payment. You can choose to manage your direct payment yourself, or you choose to nominate a person or organisation to do this for you.

There are lots of things that you can use your direct payment for and all will usually be agreed as long as they meet your assessed needs and have clear outcomes for you. However, there are certain things that direct payments definitely cannot be used for and these tend to be:

  • Emergency or acute services, which are already provided by the NHS to everyone in the country without charge.
  • The vast majority of primary healthcare services (including visits and assessments), as GPs provide a comprehensive, registration based service, which is free at the point of access.
  • anything unlawful or prohibited by the local authority or that will bring the local authority into disrepute, i.e. gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
  • anything needed for everyday living, e.g. rent, food, bills, etc.

If you would like to discuss the option of direct payments, speak to your nominated social care worker or care coordinator.

Personal Health Budgets

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified healthcare and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you, or your representative, and your local NHS team.

Those who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare have a right to ask for a personal health budget. 

Key to a personal health budget is your care and support plan. This plan helps you decide your health and wellbeing goals, together with the local NHS team who support you, and set out how your budget will be spent to enable you to reach them and keep healthy and safe.

Can personal care and personal health budgets be joined up?

In Knowsley, if you are receiving a personal health budget and a personal budget for social care, then the two budgets will be joined together, making it less complicated and easier to manage. In Knowsley we aim to have the assessment, planning and monitoring processes joined up too.

What about personal budgets for children and families?

Following the introduction of the Children & Families Act 2014, we now have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. These plans form part of a new approach (Special Educational Needs and Disability Reforms) that seeks to join up support across education, health and care.

From September 2014 children and young people assessed as needing an EHC plan will have the option of a personal budget that will bring together money from education, health and social care into a single budget. Not all children will be eligible for direct payments and you should consult with your health and/or care representative to find out if your child is eligible.

Read further information on the SEND reforms in Knowsley.

Need more information?

You can also contact the Knowsley Access Team on 0151 443 2600 in relation to personal care budgets.

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