Funding FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions - Direct Payments

Below are some common questions about setting up a new care package, with some answers we hope will be of help!  If you would like to know more please see our factsheet, or get in touch with our friendly team.

What is a Personal Budget?

If your care needs have been assessed by the social services team at the local Council, your personal budget is the amount of money allocated to meet those needs.

What is a Direct Payment?

You have the option of having any funding paid to you, so that you can choose your own care.  You can then meet your agreed care needs in the way that suits you best.

Do I have to be assessed?

In order to receive help paying for care you will need to have an assessment from the social services team at the local Council (or sometimes the NHS if you need care because of a health issue).

If you plan to pay for your care privately you do not need an assessment from the Council first. You can contact your preferred care provider directly to purchase care from them.

Do I have to use the Council's choice of provider?

No.  Even if your care is fully funded by the Council, you have a choice as to who provides it. This should be made clear to you during the assessment process, and is a legal right under the Care Act 2014.

Will the Direct Payment cover the cost of my care?

Possibly not.  The hourly rate paid by the Council for care may not reflect the cost of care in the open market.  If you have any concerns you can discuss these with your care provider of choice. If you are funded then the council will always arrange to meet your care needs.

Can I top up a Direct Payment if it doesn't cover the cost of my care?

You can, and most providers are familiar with these circumstances and are able to provide "split-funded" care packages.

How can I find out what services are available?

Local directories, web searches, the Care Quality Commission and are a good place to start.  Some links are included below.

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