Personal budgets and direct payments

Your personal budget is an amount of money which is available to spend on your agreed support needs, to help you live an independent and fulfilling life.

With a personal budget:

  • you have control over how you spend your money on your support
  • you have the choice to decide and buy support that best meets your needs
  • you have as much or as little help as you need to set up your personal budget or arrange support

There are different ways you can have your personal budget. You can:

  • manage your personal budget as a direct payment
  • manage part of your personal budget as a direct payment and ask us (Adult Social Care at Bedford Borough Council) to manage the rest
  • ask us (Adult Social Care at Bedford Borough Council) to manage your whole personal budget

The short video below describes the ways your care can be arranged:

Direct payments allow you to take more of the decisions that affect your life. They give you more choice and control of your own care.

You can spend your direct payment on any services as long as they are legal, keep you safe and healthy, and meet your eligible needs. 

Direct payments do not count as income and will not affect your benefits. For example, with direct payments, you can employ the person or agency you choose, and decide on the hours of employment and the tasks you want to be completed.

Who is eligible for direct payments

People who are eligible for adult care services can receive direct payments.

You can use a direct payment to pay for services, equipment, or activities that meet your social care needs. You can buy these from organisations or individuals.

Examples of things you can buy with your direct payment:

  • care and support to help you live in your own home
  • employ a personal assistant to help you do different activities
  • transport and travel training
  • support in college or in a job
  • short breaks and leisure activities

What kind of support can I get with direct payments?

You can get help with setting up your support from approved organisations. This includes:

  • help to identify services you might be interested in
  • advice and assistance with recruiting and employing your own staff
  • help to identify other suitable agencies if this interests you
  • many other matters relating to using direct payments

We encourage all eligible service users to opt for direct payments as a means of meeting their care and support needs. If in the end, you decide it is not for you, you will still be able to receive care services.

Read further information in these leaflets