Paying for care

If you, or a member of your family, need care and support you may be entitled to help with the cost. You can contact your local Council, who will assess your care needs.

This assessment is carried out by a social worker or social care officer, to establish:

  • Whether you have care needs, for example as a result of disabilities or health problems
  • Whether you are eligible for social care services from the council
  • If you are eligible, how those needs can be met

If you meet the conditions for support, the Council will produce a support plan. This is a document that outlines the support you need, what you want to achieve, and how you want to receive it. The Council may then assess your income and capital such as savings.

For many people with eligible needs, the local Council will provide a personal budget, which is a way of giving people choice and control over the care services they receive.

A personal budget is an allocation of funding given to someone after their needs have been assessed. You can either take your personal budget as a direct payment, or leave the Council with the responsibility to commission the services.  You have a choice about how you organise and manage your Personal Budget

'Direct payments' means the cash given to a person by local authority to pay for the care of their choice. If you chose to take a direct payment, you are responsible for employing people or buying the services you need. You can get help with this, for example through the Council or from user-led organisations.

What you spend your money on is up to you. It must be legal and meet your eligible needs and objectives that you have identified in your support plan.

Of course, whether or not you are entitled to support from the Council, we can meet with you to talk about the many ways that we can help. You may wish to purchase additional support, or simply think through all of the available options. We often meet with families and individuals, without any obligation, to support them with the decisions they have to make.

It is worth remembering that you may be entitled to benefits. You can find out about this by contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Not all benefits are means tested and you may qualify for Disability Living Allowance if you are under 65 or Attendance Allowance if you are over 65.

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