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Making care personalised

Personal budgets are part of a way of managing care and support called personalisation, which is designed to make sure the help you receive suits you as an individual.

Every person assessed as having eligible needs now has a personal budget.

What is personalisation?

Personalisation aims to ensure that the care and support each person gets is matched to their needs and wishes. It also makes sure that everyone who needs information and advice about social care gets it, regardless of their wealth or eligibility for services.

Personal budgets are a key part of personalisation, because they give you more control over your care and support.

Personal budgets - the basics

When you are assessed by your council as being eligible for social care, and after you have been means tested, they will come up with a budget that must cover the cost of meeting your eligible needs. That amount of money can be altered if your needs change. They will also carry out a means-test, to see if you need to contribute.

Provided that you have eligible needs and are not funding care yourself, you can then decide how you want to use the money the council provides in your personal budget.

You can:

  • Have it as a direct payment – paid into an account for you.
  • Have it put into an account managed by the council but spent in line with your wishes.
  • Put it into an account help with a care service provider and managed by you.
  • Put into a trust held on your behalf by a carer, friend or family member.
  • A mix of the above options.

It’s up to you how you want to receive your personal budget. You should always receive free advice and support from the council to help you make an informed decision. There are also a range of services being set up by voluntary organisations to help people to plan how to use their personal budget, although you may need to pay for those.

Independent personal budgets

If the council finds that you are not eligible for funded care, they should still help you decide how to arrange the help that you need. You can also get an independent personal budget, which will detail how much your care needs will cost you even though the council won’t be paying for them.

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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