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Direct Payments & Personal Budgets

What is a Personal Budget? 

A Personal Budget is the amount of money the social care team in your Local Authority will pay towards any social care and support you need.

We will assess whether you need care and support. If we find you do and you need financial help to pay for the care and support, we will give a certain amount of money to you. We call this your Personal Budget. If you’re over 18, you may have to put some money towards your Personal Budget as well. We call the money you put in your ‘assessed contribution’. The amount will depend on your income and savings. We work out the amount you need to contribute by doing a financial assessment.

Once you have your Personal Budget, you can decide on how to organise your care and support. We can organise it or you can. If you want to make the arrangements, we put our part of the Personal Budget straight onto a pre-paid card account. This called a Kent Card. You then add your part of the budget to the account.

The social care team will work with you to design a support plan that is tailored to meet your needs.


What is a Direct Payment? 

You can ask Kent County Council to pay the money directly to you or someone you choose – this is known as a Direct Payment. You get the money to buy the care and support you and your Social Care team agree you need. You must show what you have spent it on, but you, or your representative chose and manage services yourself. 

Direct Payments give you choice, control and the flexibility to meet your needs and can be used in a range of ways. This could include employing a Personal Assistant, paying an agency or taking part in activities


In Summary 

A Personal Budget is for your social care and support needs.

A Direct Payment is one way of managing these budgets, when you get the money directly to buy the agreed care and support you need rather than the Social Care teams arranging it for you. 

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