Personal budgets and direct payments  image
  1. Home
  2. Personal budgets and direct payments

Personal budgets and direct payments

We want to give you more choice and control over the care and support you receive. This means you can decide what you want, how it should be provided and by whom. 

Personal budget 

A personal budget is the amount of money the council will pay towards the care and support you need. 

It’s made up of the amount we must pay and the amount, if any, you must pay. 

You can choose to receive your personal budget as a cash payment so that you can buy the care and support to meet the needs identified in your assessment yourself. This is called a direct payment.  

Alternatively, the council can arrange your care and support for you. 

Direct payment 

A direct payment is a cash payment made directly to you so that you can buy your own care and support services, rather than having it delivered by Redbridge Council. 

You can have a direct payment if you have been assessed as needing social care services. This includes carers. 

The direct payments policy and guidance (PDF 248KB) sets out our approach to direct payments.

What you can use direct payments for 

Your direct payment can be used to pay for care and support to meet your needs. For example: 

  • to pay someone to support you, such as a support worker or personal assistant 
  • to purchase support through a service provider of your choice 
  • to pay for short breaks (respite care) for yourself or your carer 
  • to buy social or educational activities that you have been assessed for and need 

You can be creative about how you spend your direct payment, as long as it helps you meet your support needs. 

You don’t have to use statutory organisations like the council when you buy your support. 

How direct payments work 

We will work out how much money you are entitled to based on the information gathered during your assessment. The assessment is where you tell us about your particular circumstances and care needs. 

You might need to set up a bank account specifically for your direct payment. You will then receive payment directly into your bank or building society. 

Direct payments will not affect your benefit entitlement because they are not counted as income. 

Support with direct payments 

You may feel you are able to manage your direct payments on your own, but you can get help from family, friends or an agency of your choice as long as you are the one making the final decisions on how the money is being spent. 

What you will be responsible for 

Direct payments give you control of the support you receive. You will also have the responsibilities that come with managing a budget and potentially becoming an employer if you employ a personal assistant. 

If you think that you are unable to manage the day to day financial responsibilities of a direct payment, you can nominate someone else or you can opt for a managed account’. This is when a third party manages all aspects of your direct payment and financial monitoring on your behalf.