Personal budgets and direct payments

Personal budgets and direct payments

Personal budgets are the way that people in need of care and support services manage and receive money from Solihull Council.

Direct payments could be available if you or the person you care for get help from Solihull Adult Social Care. You can get direct payments by opening a bank account or having a prepaid card to pay for your non-residential needs.

This personalisation allows you to choose who you want to provide your care and support and organise it yourself.

Personal budgets

After you have had an assessment of your care and support needs, a personal budget will be agreed with you and Solihull Adult Social Care.

Your personal budget is used to pay for non-residential care services that meet your assessed care and support needs.

You can choose to:

  • have your personal budget managed by Solihull Council
  • have your personal budget paid to you as a direct payment

Download the How your budget is decided document from the Solihull Council website for more information.

Personal budgets for carers

The important role you have as a carer is recognised by Solihull Adult Social Care team.

To support your caring role, the amount of your personal budget will be decided following your carer's assessment and the number of eligible needs you have, according to the National Eligibility Criteria.

It is important to note that:

  • you will be given a typical personal budget at first, which allows your care and support planning to start
  • in some cases, it may be necessary to change the amount you are receiving
  • an appropriate budget level will be set for you, which is affordable for Solihull Council and allows you to meet your needs

Solihull Council Adult Social Care services collect information about the needs of carers in Solihull to ensure the best use of money the Council has for care and support.

Direct payments

Direct payments are used to pay for non-residential services you choose that help you meet your assessed care and support needs.

Your direct payments could be used to pay for services to meet your assessed needs from providers in the Solihull Directory, for example.

You can receive a direct payment after you have:

Direct payments can be made to:

  • disabled people aged 16 or over (with short or long-term needs)
  • disabled parents for children’s services
  • carers aged 16 or over (including people with parental responsibility for a disabled child)
  • elderly people who need community care services

Direct payments can be used for:

  • personal care
  • help at home
  • equipment to keep you independence
  • support to take carer's break
  • employing someone to help

Direct payments cannot be used for:

  • paying for Solihull Council services
  • paying relatives living with you
  • paying for your permanent home

Get a direct payment

You can get direct payments by opening a new bank account or having a new prepaid card.

If you are already a customer with Solihull adult social care, you can ask your social worker about receiving your personal budget as a direct payment.

Prepaid card for direct payments

Solihull Council offers a prepaid card to pay your direct payment to you. The prepaid card looks and works like a debit card that you may have with your bank. You can use your card to pay for services that you need for your care and support.

The amount that has been agreed in your support plan will be paid straight to your prepaid card account.

You can get a prepaid card for direct payments from Solihull Council if you already receive direct payments. If you are a carer, or if you manage direct payments for someone else, you can also have a prepaid card.

To get a prepaid card you can:

Benefits of a prepaid card include:

  • You cannot spend more money than you have so you will not go overdrawn
  • You do not need to open a separate bank account
  • It can make it easier to pay for your support, especially if you struggle getting out and about
  • You can check your balance and spending online, on the phone, by post
  • You can nominate someone you trust to help manage your account

Small print

The PFS Prepaid MasterCard is issued by Prepaid Financial Services Limited pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated.

Prepaid Financial Services Limited is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 900036. Registered Office: 36 Carnaby Street, London, W1F 7DR.

Opening basic bank accounts for direct payments

If you choose to receive a direct payment into a bank account you will need to open a bank account in your own name. If you already have a bank account you will need to open a separate one to receive your direct payments into.

The Support to Success Getting a bank account leaflet can help you find the best account.

You can also visit the Money Advice Service for information about bank accounts and help with managing your money.

Bank accounts are available from high street banks and building societies. The easiest bank account to manage is a basic bank account.

A basic bank account is good because:

  • it does not charge any monthly fees if you have a poor credit record
  • it should not let you go into debt

Credit union accounts

Unlike banks, credit unions do not make a profit. They are financial co-operatives based in local communities operated by and run for the people living there.

Credit union accounts are seen as a good way for people to learn about managing their money well and helping them save money.

A credit union account will help you if you have a poor credit history and allow you to receive your direct payments. A credit union account will also allow you to:

  • set up automatic bill payments for the services you choose
  • withdraw cash

Advance Credit Union

Anyone who lives or works within Solihull Borough can join Advance Credit Union. You can find out more information by:

Help with direct payments

Help to manage and use your direct payments is available on Solihull MyLife.

You can also take advantage of the Direct Payments Support Service provided by Age UK Solihull on behalf of Solihull Council.

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