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What is an individual budget?
When you have had an assessment that shows you are eligible for social care support from us, we give you money to pay for the services and support you need. This money is called your individual budget.
We will tell you how much money is in your individual budget and help you use it to buy the services and support you need. You can choose to arrange all your services and support yourself, with a direct payment, or you can ask us to arrange them for you. Or you may choose both, with some of your services and support arranged by us and the rest through a direct payment.
What’s good about an individual budget?
Having an individual budget can give you more choice and control over the support and services you need to meet your care needs.
You can choose how to spend the money and you can have more say in the services you buy. You can choose, plan and arrange the care for yourself if you want to.
How do I get an individual budget?
First of all, you will need an assessment by a social care worker. They will need to find out some information about you, talk to you about it and work out what your needs are.
We will ask you to answer some questions on a form called a ‘self-assessment questionnaire’. The questions are about your needs. You can look through the form, have a go at filling it in by yourself, or ask a friend, family or carer to help you. The social care worker will go through it with you when they visit you.
If you have a carer, we will need to talk to them when we do the assessment to help us to understand how they support you with your needs. If you are a carer, we can assess your needs at the same time as the person you are caring for. This is to look at what support and services would help you in your caring role. Please see the Carers assessment page for more information.
Filling out the questionnaire does not always mean we can give you money to buy support. If we cannot give you a service, we will tell you about other people who might be able to help, like health services and other organisations.
If we can offer you a service, we will talk with you and the people who are important in your life about what your needs are. Then we will be able to tell you how much we think it will cost to get the support you need. This is an estimate of how much money we will give you. The final amount of money we give you to buy the services you need, your individual budget, may be a bit more or less than the estimate.
How much money will I get to buy the services I need?
When we know the cost of the social care support you need, we will work out if you have to pay for none of your care, some of it, or all of it. This depends on what money you have already and what money you could get from the Government and from us. We call this a ‘ fairer charging assessment ’.
We will tell you how much individual budget money you will get to buy the care services and support you need after the fairer charging assessment. We will then talk to you about whether you would like to use a direct payment to buy your care services and support.
The easy to read leaflet An easy guide to individual budgets has more information about using your individual budget and support you can get to manage your social care.
To find out more about social care services in Birmingham, please go to the adult social care services page.