Personal budgets

A personal budget is the amount of money we’ve worked out you need to pay for your care and support needs.

You can use it to:

  • arrange your own care and support using direct payments
  • authorise the council to arrange care and support for you
  • arrange some care and support yourself, and have us arrange some for you

Your social care worker will discuss this with you when we plan your care and support.

Working out the cost of your support

Your social worker will do an assessment to find out about:

  • your health and things in your life you need help with
  • how well you can get about
  • other people in your life like your friends and family
  • work, learning and training
  • your safety
  • the support you get from friends, family and other people or services.

We give you a score for each of these things. We then use the score to work out the cost of the care you need.

We also base this amount on what we know it costs to support different people.

People who support you

We consider if someone who helps you with one thing also provides other support.

For example, if the person who helps you cook dinner also checks you’re safe, you will not need anyone else to do this.

We look at whether you get some support from family and friends. Based on this information we can calculate your indicative budget. An indicative budget is a close guide of how much your support can cost.

Spending your personal budget

You can only spend your personal budget on things which help to meet your care needs.

We will tell you what you can spend your personal budget on when we discuss your support plan with you.

You can’t use a personal budget to pay for:

  • services or equipment another public service has responsibility to provide , like an operation
  • everyday things which your own money or other benefits should pay for, like food, transport or rent
  • something unlawful, like cannabis

Your personal budget does not include money that pays for:

  • advice, advocacy or support planning
  • housing-related support
  • reablement services
  • Telecare
  • NHS and health services
  • transport services
  • access to work
  • disabled facilities grants

You usually can’t use a personal budget to pay for support from:

  • your spouse or partner (a person who you live with as a couple)
  • a close relative who you live with
  • the spouse or partner of a close relative you live with
Page updated on: 12 February 2021

Adult social care


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


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