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Personal Budgets & Direct Payments

A Personal Budget can be used in four ways:



What are Direct Payments?

Direct Payments are a result of the Government’s vision for social care services which offer choice, quality and independence for people needing care. They are payments of money made by the County Council directly to people to use to pay for their home care needs, so that they can arrange, through Care Force, their own care when needed.

Direct Payments replace traditional social care services.

For people who are not comfortable managing their own budget, or delegating the budget to a family/elected person, they can consider an Individual Service Fund where a third party such as Penderal’s Trust manages the budget for their care requirements.

Direct Payments replace Fully Supported social care as the main method of Personal Budget management and Fully Supported budgets will only be considered under very specific circumstances such as the when the person has no family member or friend who could manage their budget for them or if they have specific special needs.

Direct Payments are NOT a benefit and therefore do not affect pensions or benefits being received.

Direct Payments are available across the UK to all groups, including carers, disabled children, older people and people who lack mental capacity.

What can Direct Payments be used for?

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How is the value of Direct Payments ascertained?

Direct Payments are means-tested so their value is dependent on the person’s income and assets, as well as their care needs.

An initial care assessment by Social Services will ascertain the level of care needed by the individual person and therefore the cost of adequate care.

A financial assessment (means-test based on income and assets) will identify how much in the form of Direct Payments the County Council will provide for the care needed and how much the individual may have to contribute towards the cost.

The amount provided by the Council in the form of Direct Payments for home care will always be enough to enable the individual to pay for the amount of care needed; either in full if the means-test suggests that the person cannot contribute anything towards their care, or in part, should that person be able to contribute.

What if the individual does not want total responsibility of allocating their Direct Payments to care?

A person may allocate part of their personal budget to the Council to leave them with the responsibility to commission certain services and take the rest as a Direct Payment.

Individuals can therefore take some or all of their allocated budget as Direct Payments.

For more information on Personal Budgets or Direct Payments, please visit  or call the Care Force helpline on 01527 577 247.


There may be certain state benefits or schemes which you or your family member could take advantage of and these could help you fund your care. For more information, please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website at or Age UK at

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