About Direct Payments & Personal Budgets
Since 2003 Social Services have had a legal duty to offer Direct Payments to anyone who is eligible for Community Care Services and meets the Direct Payment eligibility criteria.
Anyone who believes they may be entitled to a Direct Payment should contact the Department of Social Care Services at their local council and ask for a care assessment. If you already have a Social Worker or Care Manager you should contact them. The Care Assessment will be carried out under the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria. If you are eligible you can decide whether your care needs are met via Direct Services or via Direct Payments, so that you can control the delivery of your Care Plan. You can choose to have a combination of Direct Services and DIrect Payments if you wish.
Personal or Individual Budgets are similar to direct payments in that they have the same principles of service user choice and control. However, a Personal or Individual Budget, unlike Direct Payments, does not have to be only in the form of a cash payment and the funding that comprises an individual budget can come from a number of sources. However, most people who receive an Individual or Personal Budget are likely to receive this in the form of Direct Payments
Further information can be found at the following websites: