Anyone, 18 or over, who is eligible for social care support can have a personal budget. A personal budget is money that the council gives you to pay for any care and support that you need. Your community care assessment will help you decide what services will help you live a life that's as full and safe as possible. Then, your care worker will talk with you about paying your personal budget as a direct payment.
How do you get a personal budget?
Contact Adult Social Care on 0113 222 4401 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to ask for an assessment. If you are unable to use the telephone you can email us using the Contact us form on this page. If you have difficulty in understanding personal budgets and other options for paying for care, you can ask for an independent advocate who can help you to arrange care which best fits around your life. Please visit the Advocacy for care and support page for further information.
You can choose to have a direct payment instead of letting the council arrange services for you. Direct payments give you lots of control over your care and support. You can decide how your needs are met and buy the support that suits you best.
It's important to spend your direct payments carefully, making sure that you cover all the needs shown in your assessment. Your care worker will help you make your decisions and our Direct Payment Support Team is here to help with questions about your payments. Most people prefer to pay their money as a direct payment.
Managing your money
There are different ways to receive your direct payments. We will help you to choose the option that is safe and easy for you to manage and gives you as much independence as possible.
- An Instant Access Account: the council will help you protect your account and keep track of your spending
- A Standard Direct Payment: you take responsibility for keeping spending records which the council will check
- An Indirect Payment: a relative, or advocate takes responsibility for keeping spending records which the council will check
- A Money Management Service: payments are made to your care and support provider who will manage them in line with your assessment
There are a few rules about how you can spend your direct payment but as long as your spending is legal and relates to the care and support needs as agreed in your care plan, it is usually fine.
We will need to see you within the first 6 to 8 weeks after your first direct payment and again if you need more help or advice. We will then review your payment regularly (at least once every year).
For more information on the steps to apply for a personal budget please see the 'Personal Budgets: a user’s guide' document (PDF 1.3MB).
Once you are in receipt of a direct payment or personal budget, Leeds CIL's service ASIST (Actively Seeking independence Support Team) can provide support to recruit, manage and pay one or more support workers, called Personal Assistants (PAs).
Several useful guides on other aspects of personal budgets and payments can be found in the Documents section.