A personal budget is a way of delivering social care. If you receive social care services you will be assessed for a Personal Budget. This means that you will be allocated an amount of money that you can spend on support each week. You will have more choice about who provides your support and what activities you do.

After you have had your assessment someone will help you to write your support plan. This will say what support you will have to help you meet your needs and who will provide it.

10 top tips for getting the most from your Personal Budget

  1. Think about your needs: Before your assessment think about all the areas in your life that you need support with. This could include, going out, making friends, personal care, domestic support or financial matters.

  2. Plan your meeting: Before you discuss your support plan, think about:
    • When you want to use your budget?
    • Do you want to socialise, learn a new skill, volunteer, get ready to do a paid job?
    • Do you have a hobby you want to do or do you want to start a new leisure activity?
    • Look at www.valuessupport.co.uk for inspiration.
  1. Get support: Ask someone who knows you well to help you with ideas and to be there for the meetings. They can help you to remember what was said, make suggestions and help you answer questions.

  2. Meet providers: Meet with providers that offer things you are interested in. This will help you to judge if you can work with them.

  3. Choose a reputable provider: Reputable providers like VALUES at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire carry out police checks and train their staff on subjects like safeguarding and communication skills.

  4. Choose groups: Sharing your support with others means you pay less per hour and so can have more hours support per week! This also helps you to meet new people and make friends.

  5. Start a new group: If you can’t find what you are looking for ask VALUES to start a new group and advertise for people to join you.

  6. Make sure you have your say: It’s easy to get swept along by other people’s good ideas, but make sure the final decision is yours. After all it’s you that will be doing the activities!

  7. Choose a provider with added value: Some providers, such as VALUES, will send you Newsletters, invite you to parties and trips. This will get you more for your money.

  8. Plan your week: If you use taxis you may want to consider planning sessions back-to-back so that you can make a whole day out of it. That way you will spend less on taxis throughout the week.

  9. Train to be independent: Invest in short-term support to learn a new skill, such as a voluntary job, then do it independently and use the money for something else.

  10. Travel Training: If you can, do some Travel Training. You won’t need to spend so much on taxis so you can spend it on activities.

For more advice or support through the process of getting a Personal budget, or more copies of this leaflet call Mikaela on 0116 2575044 or Ben on 0116 257 5056.

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