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Personal budgets and direct payments

A personal budget is the amount of money the council allocates for your care, based on an assessment of your needs and your financial situation.

Different ways to manage your personal budget

When you have been allocated your personal budget, you can choose to have it managed in one (or a combination) of the management options below:

  • direct payments - you are given your budget as a direct payment and organise any care and support yourself
  • virtual budget - the council will manage your budget and support services on your behalf
  • mixed approach - where you would like to take some of your personal budget as a direct payment and the rest as a virtual budget
Support plan and reviews

Following an assessment, if you have care and support needs, the next stage is to draw up a care and support plan.

Your support plan sets out what care and support will meet your needs.

A support plan describes:

  • what your assessed needs are
  • outcomes you need or wish to achieve
  • which needs the council will meet and how we will meet them
  • information and advice on how to prevent, reduce or delay your future needs for social care

You will be involved in putting together your support plan so you can share your views and preferences. We will give you a copy of both your assessment and your support plan.

Reviewing a support plan

Your support plan will be reviewed within the first few months of support starting and then once every year to see what's working, what's not working and if it's still the best support for you.

If at any time you're unhappy or wish to discuss your care, please contact adult social services to discuss this and you can ask for a review

Direct payments

The money you choose to use from your personal budget is called a direct payment. This is instead of the council arranging all or some of the services for you. Direct payments give you more choice and control over your needs. 

Direct payments give you a greater choice and control over your life. You decide who is going to give the support to you.

Managing your direct payments

You can choose to receive your direct payment in the following ways:

  • prepaid card - This is an alternative to a bank account and looks similar to a debit card
  • direct payment to a bank account. This is where money is paid into a high street bank account. This can be an account for the person or the person who represents them, but it must be a separate account from their normal bank account to clearly show the money being spent on care and support

Information about pre-paid cards

How you can use direct payments

Your direct payment must be used to pay only for support agreed in your support plan.

Some of the ways a direct payment can be used include but are not limited to:

  • paying for a day opportunity, this could be in a day centre, activities at home or taking part in activities away from home
  • personal care
  • carers taking a break (respite)
  • one-off pieces of equipment for social care needs
  • employing a personal assistant (PA) to provide support


There are many agency workers in Kirklees you could choose to use. You may have identified the one you want at the support planning stage. You need to agree a start date with them and let your support worker know.

It is important that you discuss with the agency what you want from their staff and how you want them to treat you.

If you do not know which agency you wish to use and would like further information about agencies, please contact Community Health and Social Care Hub


You can have a combination of services to provide your care. This includes choosing from an agency, employing a personal assistant (PA) or services organised by social care services at the council. You can use your direct payment to pay towards these services.

Sometimes it takes time to set up a PA. You can choose to use an agency at the beginning of your support plan and then end their contract once you have a personal assistant available.

Make sure your support worker knows what you are doing as you need to keep within your agreed budget.

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