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Personal budget

If you are eligible to get care or support from the council, you can get a personal budget.

Your personal budget is the amount of money we give you to pay for your care and support. You can use the money to arrange your own care and support.

You may have to pay towards your personal budget.


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Spending your direct payment

You can:

  • employ your own care workers (usually called a personal assistant)
  • arrange care from any care agency
  • buy support and services from a range of people and companies offering activities
  • top up the money yourself, to buy services that cost more than the amount paid by the council

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Things you cannot use a direct payment for

  • food, clothes, or other living expenses
  • anything that is not in your support plan
  • employing someone who lives with you (unless they are a live-in carer who is not a member of your family)
  • healthcare services
  • buying services from the council, such as travel on a Dorset Travel bus
  • a care home, except for respite

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Setting up a direct payment: Step 1

If you already get care and support services, talk to your social worker. Ask about direct payments when you have an assessment.

If you do not get care and support now, contact the adult access team.

Phone: 01305 221016
Email: adultaccess@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk


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Setting up a direct payment: Step 2

Open a new bank account for your direct payment to be paid into every two weeks. Use this account to pay for things that are agreed upon in your support plan.

If it is difficult to open a bank account, you can use our bill-paying service. There is a small charge for this.


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Setting up a direct payment: Step 3

Your financial assessment might say that you need to pay for some of your care and support.

You will need to pay this amount into your direct payment bank account.


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Direct payment rules

You must keep records of your spending including:

  • receipts, invoices, bank statements
  • records of wages, tax and national insurance if you employ a carer or personal assistant

Send these records to us at least once a year.

We will make sure that:

  • the money is being spent on what has been agreed on in your support plan
  • you follow all the tax and employment rules if you employ your own personal assistant
  • you return extra money - we will tell you how to do this