What is a Personal Budget?

A personal budget is a sum of money that has been allocated to meet the needs identified in your assessment.

What is a personal budget?

If you are eligible for help from the Council, we will use the information you have given during the assessment to work out roughly how much it will cost to support your needs. We will also let you know if we can help to pay for this support. If we can help to pay, we will agree an amount of money that is sufficient to meet your assessed care and support needs. We call this a Personal Budget.


A personal budget gives you more choice and control over how your needs are met and allows you to spend the money in a way that suits you best and stay as independent as possible.

Who contributes to the personal budget?

What you pay will depend on your individual circumstances and the kind of care and support you need, who provides it and how often you need help.

As part of your assessment, we will give you a financial assessment to complete. This will help the Council to consider whether you are eligible for financial support towards your care and support. Most people have to contribute something towards the costs of their care and support. If you pay a contribution, your personal budget will be made up of your contribution and the amount of money the Council has agreed to contribute.


What happens next?

You will then be able to decide how you want to spend your personal budget and how much control you want to take over your care and support. It's important that you feel comfortable with how your support is managed. There are a number of different options to choose from:

  • You can ask the Council to manage your personal budget and organise your support for you.
  • You can ask the Council to give your personal budget to you in the form of a direct payment.
  • You can ask the Council to give your personal budget to someone you trust or an organisation, such as Hestia, in the form of a direct payment.
  • You can ask for a mixture of the above. 

Whichever method you choose, we will work with you to develop a care and support plan which shows how your personal budget will be used to meet your needs. You can create the plan yourself, with family and friends, or with help from the Council or another organisation.


If you choose to have a direct payment you will need to sign a Direct Payment Agreement - a contract between the Council and you - which outlines your responsibilities for spending the public money you are given.


What can a personal budget be used for?

What you use your personal budget for will depend on your individual circumstances and the needs identified during your assessment. The money should help you look after yourself and manage everyday tasks to stay independent for longer and make sure you can continue getting out and about and accessing work or learning opportunities. 

A personal budget cannot be used for: 

  • buying things that haven't been identified as part of your support plan
  • gambling or paying off debts 
  • to buy tobacco or alcohol 
  • anything illegal. 

What if you're unhappy with the outcome?

If you’re unhappy with the process, your assessment, care and support plan or personal budget we want to hear about it as soon as possible. We recommend that you speak to your allocated worker in the first instance. If you can't come to an agreement, you can let us know in writing what you are unhappy about and why you think the process has been unfair or inaccurate. 

Once we have heard from you, we will look at your concerns and may contact you to discuss the issue. We will always respond to you in writing. If you are still not satisfied, you can use our complaints procedure. 

Useful contacts:

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971
Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk