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Personal Budgets and Direct Payments

Personal Budgets and How you Get Your Needs Assessed

Personal Budgets and Direct Payments

In mental health services in Kent and Medway a Personal Budget should be offered to people who, following a community care assessment of their needs, are eligible for both community care support and assistance from the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT) to pay for their social care support. KMPT also will provide support for health care needs but these at present are not included in a personal budgets.

A Personal Budget will be offered for your eligible social care needs only this will be offered as part of the mental health services you receive and is given to meet specific outcomes as identified by your key worker for more information about key workers click here.

Below are some examples of what some people use their Personal Budget for:

  • leisure activities, e.g. an art class or a walking group
  • membership of a gym or sports club
  • finding a job or learning new skills
  • having an aromatherapy massage or other alternative therapy
  • attending relaxation or yoga classes

Remember, these are examples only. You can use your Personal Budget to meet your identified social care outcomes in many different ways according to what you think is best for you, as long as it is approved by KMPT and is safe, legal and healthy.

Personal Health Budgets

Personal Health Budgets are currently being piloted for some services in East Kent to test whether health services might be delivered in a similar way to Personal Budgets in the future. For more information on the personal health budgets pilot you can click here (this will open a new window and a link to a word document) , or to read further by going through to the Department of Health website click here.

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What You Cannot Use Your Personal Budget For

There are some specific things that you definitely cannot spend your Personal Budget on. These include:

  • Gambling
  • Debt Repayment
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco

Also you cannot not use your personal budget to pay for any health care needs you may have.

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How do I get my needs Assessed?

If you are in mental health services your social care eligibility will be assessed at your CPA review for more information click here. If you think that you may be due to be assessed please contact your key worker or Community Mental Health Team. (CMHT). 

If you do not receive a secondary health service you may still be eligible for social care support through your local authority in either Kent or Medway depending on where you live.

You may be eligible for support from the local authority if:

  • a person appears to the local authority to be in need of a community care service, or
  • a person is disabled, or
  • a person is looking after someone else – such as a relative, friend or neighbour

If you feel that one (or more) of these applies to you, you can request an assessment of your needs from the social services team.

If you live in Kent click here or if you live in Kent you can assess your social care needs online by clicking here.

If you live in Medway click here.

Kent and Medway have their own different ways of assessing if someone has eligible social care needs for more information click here.

Unfortunatley because the demand for services is greater than the money available to provide them, not everyone can have all their needs met. You will only have your eligible social care needs met and to decide if you are eligible, KMPT apply an Eligibility Criteria. This criteria is based on Department of Health Eligibility published in 2010 which you can access here  as well as the criteria set by the PCT’s and the Care Programme Approach. Using  an eligibility criteria means that eligible needs will be placed in one of four bands – Critical, Substantial, Moderate, Low.

The Disability Law Service has anproduced a factsheet about eligibility to access their information click here.

If you have eligible social care needs you will be contacted by your key worker concerning what these needs are and if you live in Kent you will be given an estimate of what it would have cost to traditionally have met these needs. This is an estimated personal budget figure as any actual amount will not be decided upon until you have undertaken support planning and explained how you would like your eligible social care needs to be met. If you are in Medway the system is slightly different and you should contact the direct payments department to see if you are eligible click here for more information.

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