A Personal Budget is money identified to pay for support specified in an Education,
Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from the council for education and social care and from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for health.
There are four ways you can use a personal budget:
- The council, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for you. This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget
- You can receive money directly to manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself. This is called a Direct Payment. Direct Payments will be monitored regularly to ensure they are used to meet the identified needs and outcomes
- You can opt to have someone else manage the Personal Budget for you. This is called a Third Party Arrangement
- You can have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements
A Personal Budget is not additional funding, it is about using existing funding in a way that suits your needs better.
Who can ask for a personal budget?
Parents of a child with an EHC plan, or a young person (16-25) with an EHC plan, can request a Personal Budget either during the drafting of an EHC plan or once the plan has been issued and is under review.
Personal Budgets may also be prepared if there is no EHC plan. This could be the case when there are no educational needs, but there is a health and/or social care support plan.
What can a personal budget be used for?
Personal Budgets can be used only to fund the support set out in an EHC plan. This must be agreed by the council for education and social care support, and by the CCG for health provision.
The Personal Budget policy for Peterborough is available to download. The policy provides information about the services across education, health and social care that form part of a Personal Budget, how the funding arrangements will work and support available for people in relation to their Direct Payments.
Additionally available to download is a Guide to Personal Budgets which has lots more detailed information.
Direct Payments are an identified sum of money paid directly to the parents of young person to enable them to choose, arrange and pay for services themselves. An agreement has to be signed and the monitoring arrangements will ensure that these directly arranged services still meet the identified outcomes from the Education Health and Care plan.
Commissioning is the process for deciding how to use the total resource available for children, young people and parents/carers in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient and effective way which is also fair and sustainable way.
The Children and Families Act 2014 places a legal duty on Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to secure services to meet the provision set out in individual EHC Plans.
This means that the CCG and the Local Authority will work together to ensure the full integration of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision across education, health and care and strengthen the principles of joint planning and commissioning of services as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, including those that will:
- improve the identification of needs
- support and develop further joint commissioning arrangements through the joint commissioning strategy
- build on work already undertaken in the joint health and wellbeing strategy.
Commissioned services may be provided directly by schools, health services and/or the Council, or they may be purchased from private companies and/or voluntary sector organisations, such as charities. Contracting is the process of negotiating and agreeing the terms of a contract for services, and these contracts are reviewed regularly to make sure that they are delivering the best results and are providing value for money. Commissioners also regularly repeat the Needs Assessment process to make sure that services that are commissioned are still relevant to local needs.
If you are a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance if you have a disability, including a:
- long-term health condition
- mental health condition
- specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia
You must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.
The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.
There are a number of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to. Some benefits can be paid because your child is disabled while others may be paid to you for other reasons. For example, you may be getting disability living allowance (DLA) for your child and Carer's Allowance as their carer.
Depending on your income and certain other factors, you may also be able to claim Universal Credit.
You can find out more on the Contact website.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes a monthly payment to help with your living costs.
This website produced by The Department for Work and Pensions is really useful if you are:
Universal Credit for sick and disabled people
The Money Advice Service produce useful information on their website explaining about Universal Credit for sick and disabled people.
A Guide to Universal Credit and You
For more information on claiming Universal Credit, your commitments, sanctions and working while claiming download this useful guide.
Contact also have some useful information about Universal Credit.
The Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) and HMRC have launched a new website, Royal Deaf Tax, which provides information in British Sign Language on tax and tax credits, as well as enabling you to book a webcam appointment with the RAD’s tax advisor.
Financial skills are vital for young people as they make the transition to adulthood. The ability to manage money is essential in allowing them to take control of their lives. Young people who have learning disabilities are at particular risk of having poor financial management skills.
Most of them have been in a position where their family or carers take care of all of their finances, so they have not been exposed to – or had the opportunity to see – how financial management works.
This booklet by the Money Advice Service will help you understand and manage your money better.
Natwest Money Sense
Natwest moneysense has introduced new tools to help young people and children with special educational needs learn about money. You can find more deytails about this programme by visiting the Young money website