DIRECT PAYMENTS

Following an assessment, a person with a disability will be awarded a Personal Budget. This is an indicative amount of money, which is given by the Local Authority (and other funding streams), to meet the individual's identified care and support needs. It can be received in two ways:

 Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)

A Self-Assessment Questionnaire is an assessment used to determine the minimum amount of money that is required to provide services to meet the needs of your young person. This is a simple tick box form which you can either complete yourself or with a social worker.

It is essential that you specifically request to complete these assessments one to one with your social worker. This means that it is more likely that the Care Plan better reflects and quantifies your needs and your young person’s needs.

The SAQ is not a statutory requirement, which means that you can choose whether or not you wish to complete it.

How you can receive your services:

Personal Budget: is an indicative amount of funding given to people with disabilities, after an assessment called the Personal Budget Assessment, which should be sufficient to meet their assessed needs. You can choose how you would like to receive the Personal Budget.

Receiving the Personal Budget as a Direct Payment: One option is Direct payments, where you receive the money directly to pay for services yourself. Direct payments confer responsibilities on the recipient to decide how their child's needs are met, either by employing people, often known as personal assistants, or by commissioning services. This can offer greater choice and flexibility and you and your social worker will work together to choose appropriate services to meet the needs of your child. Receiving a personal budget in the form of a Direct Payment means that you manage the spending and have to ensure that you do not over spend this budget or use money in ways which are not in line with the guidelines as this can result in you having to pay the money back. You must also keep all receipts and records of your expenditure of the Personal Budget as all public money must be accounted for.

Alternative to receiving a Personal Budget as a Direct Payment:

If you decide you do not want to receive the money directly to pay for services to meet your child's needs, the Disabled Children’s Team can manage both the money and the type of services that will be used to meet the needs of your child. This should be done in line with your wishes.

Continuing Healthcare: If the primary needs of your child are health related then the services will either be fully or partly provided by The Department of Health.  For further information please Click here.

It is important to note that The Personal Budget is OPTIONAL, as it is not a statutory requirement. However, the Personal Budget is generally used in practice by the Disabled Children’s Team. If you decide against the Personal Budget, the Local Authority will make sure that your child will continue to receive services as dictated by their needs assessment and care plan.