After you have had a social care assessment, and you have been told if you can get help from the Council with your eligible social care needs, you will then be told about the amount you might get to help you. This is called an 'indicative amount'.
When you and the Council have worked out the best ways to help you, the amount this help costs will be worked out. The Council will have to agree if this is the best way to meet your needs and the final amount the Council will contribute towards your support. When this has been agreed, this is called a 'Personal Budget'.
The Council will ask you if you would like to have the 'Personal Budget' paid to you, or someone you know who wants to help you. This is so you can pay for your own support yourself. This means you can to choose who helps you at the times that fit in with your life and in the way you think is the best. When your 'Personal Budget' is paid to you this is called a 'Direct Payment'.
You can have some of the money paid to you, as a direct payment, for you to organise some of your support and also you could ask the Council to set up the rest of your support. This is called a 'mixed package'.
The Council will assess if you are able to make a decision about having a direct payment. For example, if you understand and can remember what a direct payment is and how it can be used, and if you understand/remember what is involved with being an employer of staff who will support you.
If you cannot make this decision yourself, the Council can ask someone who knows you well to help to make this decision with you. This could be family or friends.
The Council will also need to assess if you can manage a direct payment on your own, or whether you might need some help. Managing direct payments can mean you become an employer of carers, you have to complete paperwork and also follow set rules and law.
If you do decide to employ your own staff to support you, these workers are called 'Personal Assistants'.
If you need help to manage, you can ask someone to manage this for you and/or the Council can ask someone to do this for you.
The Council sometimes can ask other organisations to help people to manage their direct payment (see the page called 'Can I have support to manage a direct payment?).