The following factsheet contains advice and guidance for recipients of Direct Payments during the Coronavirus crisis:
See also government guidance for people receiving Direct Payments.
If you have had an
assessment from adult social services that shows you are eligible for care and support, we will then tell you how much money you could get to pay for the care and support you need.
This money is called a 'personal budget', and is an indicative amount until your support plan has been completed.
You will know up-front and early what your indicative budget is likely to be. This is so you can begin to plan and choose how your care and support needs can be met (with help if you need it).
Your personal budget can either be paid directly to you to via a prepaid card to enable you manage your support (a direct payment) or you can have it managed by the council.
Who is eligible?
Personal budgets are available for anyone over the age of 18 who is assessed as being eligible for adult social services support. If you are a carer this will not affect your carer's eligibility status or any other benefits you may receive.
Your support plan
Following assessment you could choose to write your own support plan, or you could write it with help from family or friends, or jointly with adult care workers.
Your plan should set out your choice/s of support to help you meet the goals identified in the assessment.
It should contain the arrangements you wish to put in place.
Once your plan is written, it needs to be approved by adult social services. We will also need to decide how we will review and monitor your care and support needs.
Arranging your services
You may prefer to arrange your own care and support. You can receive your personal budget in the form of a
direct payment to do this.
This means that you will be given the money to arrange your own care and support. Most people who receive care and support have a right to a direct payment.
There are some limited circumstances where a direct payment is not appropriate and an adult care worker will be able to tell you about these.
You must have arrangements in place to manage the necessary paperwork, either alone or with help. You will also need to satisfy the council that the services which you intend to buy will meet your assessed needs.
In addition, if you plan to employ staff, you will need to show that you will meet your legal requirements as an employer.
Employing a personal assistant is one option that can give you a more flexible and tailor-made package of support which suits you.
If you don't want to employ staff, you can
buy your care and support from a service provider to meet your needs. You may wish to arrange your support yourself directly with the people you think are best to provide the help you need. You can discuss this with your care manager as some conditions may apply.
and buying services
Alternatively you can do both; you can employ staff and buy care and support, for example to provide back-up cover.
A service provider is an agency or business that sells you care services, like care workers.
Your adult social services worker can provide names of regulated service providers in your area that provide the services you need. If you have a contract with a service provider, they will be answerable to you, not the council.
Northamptonshire County Council can manage your budget for you
If you do not wish to have a direct payment
the council can manage your budget on your behalf.
This is called a 'managed service'. It is also possible to have your personal budget as a
combination of a direct payment and a managed service.
Is your support plan meeting your needs?
Once the support you require has been arranged, we will work with you to make sure it continues to meet your needs.
We will review your support plan with you on a regular basis (at least once a year, but more often if you need it).
This may involve making changes to the care and support you receive, to reflect changes in your circumstances, your priorities, or the different things you may want to achieve.
It may also involve reviewing your eligibility and the contribution you make towards your care and support from us.
Request an assessment or review from adult social services
We can give you information, advice and guidance to help you remain independent. Where you may require additional help we can assess you to see if you have eligible needs or to review your current care package.
How to request an assessment or review