West Berkshire Council

Personal Budgets for Adults

Direct Payments and other ways to use your Adult Social Care Personal Budget

After you've had an assessment of your care and support needs, you may be allocated a Personal Budget to use to pay for your care and support.

If you receive a Personal Budget we'll give you some advice to help you plan how to use it.

A Personal Budget can be used in three ways. You can:

  • take your personal budget as a Direct Payment that you then decide how to spend
  • ask West Berkshire Council to arrange, manage and pay for your support - this is called a commissioned service
  • choose a combination of both

Please note that Personal Budgets are for social care needs. There's a separate system called Personal Health Budgets run by the NHS for people with long-term health issues and disabilities.

Direct Payments

Receiving a Direct Payment means that you take responsibility for arranging and buying the care and support to meet needs that have been agreed in your support plan. 

People who decide to take Direct Payments have more choice and flexibility about how their support needs are met.

Our pdf icon Adult Personal Budgets - Direct Payment Guide [309kb] provides details on the stages to setting up a Direct Payment and the help we can offer.

Direct Payments can be used flexibly to:

  • employ a Personal Assistant
  • fund day activities or replacement care
  • directly employ an agency
  • or use a combination of council commissioned services

West Berkshire Council will need to agree your plan with you.
If you decide on Direct Payments, you'll need to sign a contract which clearly outlines your responsibilities and shows you understand them. This is called a pdf icon Direct Payment agreement [87kb].

Once the Direct Payments are set up, we'll make arrangements with you to monitor and review your account from time to time.

Paying for Adult Social Care Services

Adult Social Care services are chargeable. How much you pay will depend on your needs and your ability to pay for them.

We need to consider your individual circumstances and perform a financial assessment to work out how much you need to contribute toward your care.

Find out more about charges for your care. 

Finding a care and support provider

You may decide to use your personal budget to employ a personal assistant. 

You can read more about finding a trustworthy and approved personal assistant on our Support With Confidence page.

Who To Contact

Our contact centre for Adult Social Care (formerly our 'Access for All' team)

01635 503050