What is a personal budget?
A personal budget is the amount of money a local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) considers necessary to support the educational, health or social care needs of children or young people from birth up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The amount that you get will depend on the needs and outcomes identified in the child’s or young person's Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. The funding is reviews on a yearly basis and amended as the individual’s needs and outcomes change.
A personal budget is intended to give young people and their parents or carers greater choice and control over the care and support services they receive.
No. Personal budgets are not mandatory - the choice to request one is entirely up to you.
All parents, carers and young people can request a personal budget when their:
- EHC plan is being prepared
- EHC plan is being reviewed
Decisions on eligibility and the amount of a personal budget will be made by the City of London’s SEND panel.
You must have an EHC plan to qualify for a personal budget for education. However, a child or young person may be eligible for a personal budget for health and social care support without having an EHC plan if they have:
- Received a social care or Early Help assessment determining the need for support such as short break provision
- An approved health plan to meet complex health needs
You can use a personal budget to pay for support in a mainstream setting where the setting would have to make exceptional, one-off arrangements to meet the child or young person’s needs. This is likely to focus on supporting those with the most complex learning support needs.
Personal budgets cannot be used to:
- Fund a nursery, school or college place
- Purchase resources or services that a setting already provides
- Home to school transport - if you meet that criteria
You can use a personal budget to fund provision needed to manage the complex health needs of:
- 0-18 year olds eligible for continuing care support
- 18 years and over eligible for continuing health care support
- Social Care
You can use a personal budget if a child or young person is assessed by the City of London’s Children and Family team as needing additional and individual support at home or in the wider community. This is usually done through short breaks provision.
You can choose to manage your personal budget in a number of ways:
- Organisational arrangement
The City of London and/or City and Hackney CCG arrange the provision on your behalf. We will help you to identify the different ways to spend the funds to best meet the outcomes in the EHC plan. No money changes hands.
- Third party arrangement
A third party organisation, trust or nominated person holds the money and helps you to decide the best way to spend it. They purchase the chosen services.
- Direct payment
Your personal budget is paid directly into an agreed bank account. You will be responsible for buying and managing the services to meet the outcomes identified in the EHC plan.
- A combination of the above
Examples of how a personal budget could be used
Josie, aged 5
This has enabled Josie to have continuity of care between school and home.
Fraser, aged 16
- The Education and Early Years Service: 020 7332 1002; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Children and Families Team: 020 7332 3621 email@example.com
- Shortbreaks: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Personal Health Budget Team at NEL Commissioning Support Unit: 020 3688 1000; email@example.com