Managing a Personal Budget
Your local council may already have looked at what help you need and agreed to give you a ‘Personal Budget’ to pay for it.
What is a Personal Budget?
From April 2013, everyone who receives help from a local council's social services will have a personal budget. It 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. If you receive a personal budget, you can choose to manage it yourself by getting direct payments, or have it managed by your local council, or by someone else.
Personal budgets offer more flexibility in how your care needs are met. For example, you may decide to use yours to continue going to the social club you’ve always been to, instead of going to the day centre the council may otherwise suggest. You could choose to go for a pub lunch or to a local café once a week instead of always getting meals on wheels at home, or to employ a carer who can come at a time that suits you.*
If you're eligible in Wokingham Borough:
Wokingham Borough Council may have referred you to our team of ‘support brokers’. Our staff are specially trained to work closely with you and your family to choose what help will be most useful and that you can get funding for. A support broker won’t do things on your behalf, but will guide you through the options, help you investigate and try out different types of support and advise on what decisions you need to make at every stage.
Our support brokers will make sure you get good value for your money and help you develop a Support Plan. This shows how the budget will be used to meet your needs over a year, and achieve your personal goals. The council needs to approve this, and will expect your plan to be safe, legal, and likely to work.
A support broker will also help you organise and manage your plan on a daily basis to make sure it still suits you even if your circumstances change.
If you're unsure about whether you're eligible for a Personal Budget, please contact your local authority's adult social care service for more information.