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Personal Budgets & Finances

In this section you can find out if your Personal Budget affects any other payments you receive, as well as a list of ways that are available to you to receive your Personal Budget.

Once your support plan as been agreed and costed you will be informed of the funds you will receive that will become your actual personal budget. You will also be told how long the budget is for, as all personal budgets in mental health in Kent and Medway will be time limited. Because everyone is different and may have different personal circumstances and needs there is no ‘standard’ amount of money that you will receive – it is personal to you.

Will a Personal Budget affect my benefits?

No. A Personal Budget does not count as income for tax or benefit purposes. A Personal Budget is specifically to pay for your care and support – it is not a loan.

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How Will I Receive my Personal Budget?

You can choose to receive your Personal Budget in a number of ways.

Kent or Medway Card

You can choose to have your personal budget loaded onto a prepaid card – the Kent Card or the Medway Card depending on where you live. These cards are a secure and convenient way of receiving a personal budget.  They provide an easy way for you to pay for your support and assistance.  The Kent / Medway cards are Chip and Pin VISA enabled cards that you can have without having a bank account, or even if you have a poor credit history. They are particularly useful if you might experience difficulties opening a bank account or if you are just beginning to understand how to budget your finances and need some extra support. They work in the same way as a VISA debit card and you can even pay some of your bills over the telephone. If you are interested in receiving your personal budget by using the Kent / Medway Card please speak to your key worker.

To find out more about the Kent Card click here.
To Find more about the Medway Card click here.

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Bank Account

You can choose to receive your personal budget into a separate bank account that has been specifically opened for your personal budget. You could then use the money in the bank account to arrange to buy services or support to meet your needs. This is called ‘Direct Payments’ because the money is paid directly to you. You will need to show that you are using the money to meet your eligible needs; for example, employing someone to support you, or paying directly for activities that you enjoy in the community.

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Existing Services

After your personal budget has been estimated, you could choose to receive the services that you always have had in the way that you have always had them. This would mean that your personal budget would remain with KMPT and services would be paid as usual.

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Client Money Service – Available in Kent Only

In Kent there is the option for you to have control over what service you receive, but all of the finances and payments are made by Kent County Council on your behalf. For example they may be able to transfer the money to a voluntary sector organisation that is running a walking group that you would like to join, or to the local sports centre to pay for annual gym membership for you. This option should be discussed with your key worker.

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Trust Fund

There is also the opportunity for your personal budget to be transferred to a trust fund to be managed on your behalf. A Trust is a commitment made by two or more people (who are called Trustees) to support someone who finds it difficult to arrange their own care or manage their own money. Trustees have legal duties and responsibilities. They will receive your Personal Budget money into the Trust Fund, and use it to buy services and support for you that meet your eligible needs.

You could use one or a combination of any of the above options to receive your personal budget.

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How is the Personal Budget Monitored?

All personal budgets are subject to review, as KMPT want to ensure that your identified outcomes are being met and that you are receiving the support that was identified in your care plan. Your care and support plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is meeting your needs and that you are achieving what you want.

If you are receiving a personal budget you will also be asked to account for how you have spent it the budget. If you have chosen to receive your budget through either the Kent or Medway Card, this process is fairly simple as all your records will have been stored electronically. If you have opened a separate bank account you will be asked for copies of bank statements and for all receipts and invoices for your direct payment. This will usually be required at a date that has been set for your financial review.

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