A personal budget is how much money you will receive to meet your care and support needs.

Direct payments and personal budgets are offered by the council to give you more flexibility over how your care and support is arranged and provided. They are given to both people with care and support needs, and also to carers.

A personal budget or direct payment will be created after Care needs assessment. If the council decides that you need any kind of support, you will receive a personal budget and can choose a direct payment instead of letting the council arrange services for you.

Different ways to manage your personal budget

Your personal budget should be used to meet your social care needs which will have been identified as part of the assessment process. You will need to decide how you would like to manage your personal budget, you can choose from a range of options:

Direct payment

Direct payment is a sum of money we will give you to manage your support needs. Direct payment money must be paid into a separate bank account. You can use it to pay for services that meet your needs and outcomes as agreed in your support plan.

What can you use this for

A direct payment can only be used to buy the goods or services you need to achieve the outcomes identified in your assessment

This could include:-

  • short breaks
  • help with personal care
  • employ a Personal assistant
  • getting out and about
  • social and leisure support.

You can’t use a direct payment to pay for anything that does not meet your assessed needs.

Advantages to a direct payment

A direct payment can give you more control over the support you receive. It must be spent to provide the support you have been assessed as needing, but you can choose who you employ to provide your care. This gives you the option to arrange services at the times that suit you, and with people you feel comfortable with.

Pre-paid card
  • A Prepaid Card is an alternative to a bank account and looks similar to a debit card.
  • Funds are preloaded onto the card by the council and yourself if you have been assessed to make a financial contribution to make towards your support.
  • You can use the card to pay for care and support to meet your needs, as agreed in your support plan - up to the value that is loaded on to the card.
  • When the funds are transferred onto your Prepaid Card they are available for you to use instantly.
  • You can view all your spend activity online and all this information is retained and available to print at your convenience. You can also telephone the Prepaid Card Services to find out your account balance.
  • The card is MasterCard enabled, which means it gives you greater flexibility when paying for your support requirements including online and over the telephone.
  • The card offers you a flexible, fast and convenient way to manage your direct payments, without the need to send us your statements regularly, meaning you can worry less about your paperwork and focus more on what’s important to you.

Benefits of a pre-paid care

  • It's simple and easy to use
  • There's immediate access to funds
  • There's no need to send us your bank statements - meaning less paperwork for you to complete and fewer records to keep
  • There's dedicated telephone and online support for customers to check your balance and payments
  • There's no need to set up a separate bank account
  • You can set up direct debits from your card and make one off payments online or over the telephone
  • You can’t spend more money than is loaded onto your card so you don’t have to worry about going over budget

Getting your prepaid care

  • Kirklees Council will set up the card on your behalf. We will ask you for information in order to do this and once done, we will post a card to your address. (It usually takes up to 10 working days to set up your account and deliver your card).
  • Before you can start using your card you will need to activate it – instructions on how to do this will be issued with your card.
  • You will have a unique PIN number for your card which you should not share with anyone else.
  • If you think your card’s security has been compromised, or that your card is lost or has been stolen, you must inform Prepaid Card Services on 02071 274276 - It usually takes up to 10 working days to replace your card.
  • Kirklees Council
  • Arrange a pre paid care Phone 01484 222056 or 01484 416795
  • Check your balance for your prepaid care Phone 02071 274276
  • Website Prepaid financial services
Virtual budget

This is when you ask the council to manage your personal budget on your behalf. We will work with you to put the services you choose in place and we will be able to purchase support services from contracted providers including home care, care homes and day services.

Mixed approach

This is where you would like to take some of your personal budget as a direct payment and the rest as a virtual budget.

Respite personal budget

As part of the assessment process you will be informed if you are eligible for respite care. If you are eligible you will be allocated a number of days which will be calculated as a personal budget.

As with your personal budget for your day to day support needs, you can choose how you would like to access your respite budget; this could be as a direct payment, virtual budget or a mixed approach. The option you take will depend on how you would like to use your respite budget.

Help with direct payments

If you want the benefits of a direct payment but don't want to manage it yourself, you could have an external organisation do this for you. They will set up a bank account in your name and get your personal budget paid in to it. Please note there is usually a charge for this service.

Visit Connect to support to find external organisations to help with budget management.

Experiences of direct payments

Short videos of people's experiences of direct payments and how this has helped them:

Donna - direct payments video
Donna, who has a mental health need.

Kirsty - direct payments video
Kirsty, who is a social worker in adult social care.

Roy - direct payments video
Roy, who cares for his wife.

Further information