What is a Personal Budget?
A personal budget is an amount of money given to you from Adult Social Care to help arrange services to meet your needs for the coming year. You can receive a personal budget as a direct payment, a direct service or a mix of both.
A direct payment is money given to you so that you can arrange your own services instead of Norfolk County Council directly setting up a service (from a set list) on your behalf (known as a direct service). Direct payments ultimately allow you to have more choice and control over your care and support options, they can be used for care in the home, supported activities, short breaks and equipment. Many people use a direct payment to employ personal assistants giving them the choice of who will provide their support and when they will work.
How do I get a Personal Budget?
In order to receive a personal budget you will need to meet Adult Social Care’s eligibility criteria and you will need an assessment from Norfolk County Council. If you already have a care assessor you can contact them. If you do not have a care assessor you will need to contact Norfolk County Council Customer Services Centre on 0344 800 8020.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire, along with your care assessor to identify your social care needs. You will also need to complete a financial assessment to see if you are eligible for funding and whether or not you would be required to make a contribution. You will then be given an indicative budget; this is an amount of money you need to work within to meet your assessed needs. You will then need to create a support plan, showing how you will use your personal budget.
Equal Lives can provide free information, guidance and support to you in creating your support plan and guide you through the process as we are funded by Norfolk County Council to assist you. A referral for our support can be received from any social care professional or yourself. We also provide the same support and advice to people receiving a personal health budget from the NHS.
There are a number of Factsheets in the sidebar to the right which will give you a clear guide to each of the stages involved in getting a Personal Budget and what options are available when you get one. There are also other more detailed guides on other pages within the Care and Support section of our website.
Accredited Service Providers
Equal Lives is one of Norfolk County Council’s accredited providers for support services with Personal Budgets and Direct Payments and there are other organisations that also offer these services or similar services. There are accredited lists produced by Norfolk County Council that provide information of all of the accredited providers so you can assess all your options before making a decision.
The accredited provider lists (October 2013) are available to download on this page as well as a Support Service Directory. The accredited provider lists are also available from Norfolk County Council should you wish to request these to check for other provider price increases.