Personal Budgets - Frequently asked questions
You may still have some questions about what 'personalisation' is all about. Hopefully the following will answer those questions.
Do I have to have a personal budget?
No, but we will be encourage everyone to have one - you can choose how much control you want to take or whether you want the council (or someone else) to manage it and arrange everything for you.
Will direct payments disappear?
No, direct payments will remain as a means of paying money directly to people who want to buy their own support, rather than have it arranged for them as part of their budget.
What's the difference between a personal budget and a direct payment?
A personal budget is the total amount of money allocated to you by the councl to meet your care and support needs following an assessment. A direct payment is the cash requested from the personal budget, which you use to buy the support you need.
Some councils have 'individual budgets'. What are they?
Individual budgets were piloted in a number of local authorities (not in Wigan). They were introduced by the government to bring together a range of funding that people with a disability may be entitled to, such as Independent Living Fund, Supporting People, Access to Work, Disability Facilities Grant, Independent Community Equipment Services, etc. There are currently no plans to extend this pilot scheme to Wigan borough, but some councils have chosen to call their direct payments 'individual budgets' instead.
How do I manage my personal budget?
It's up to you. The direct payments team can help you with this, or you can manage it yourself. You can also manage part of it yourself and get help from the direct payments team.
Will getting a personal budget affect my benefits?
No. Personal budgets do not affect welfare benefits as they are not classed as income. Benefits such as income support, incapacity benefit and daily living allowance are not means-tested, which means that your income is not taken into consideration when you apply for the benefits.
I would like a personal budget. Can I have one now?
Yes, if you are eligible to receive social care services. If you are already receiving social care services from the council, speak to your social worker about changing the way you receive support. If you don't currently receive social care services, contact the Central Duty Team to arrange for an assessment.
What help is available to help me manage my own personal budget?
The Direct Payments Service can help you to manage your budget if you want to take it in cash form. You can also get help from friends and family.