Personal Budgets and direct payments
This information relates to Personal Budgets for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
What is a Personal Budget?
A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified to support the delivery of all or some of the outcomes set out in an EHCP(Education, Health and Care Plan). A Personal Education Budget enables the support offered to the child or young person to be further personalised.
Who can have a Personal Budget?
The following have a right to ask for an EHCP Personal Budget
- Parent carers of Children and Young People who have an EHCP.
- Those Children and Young People with an LA agreement that an EHC needs assessment will be undertaken.
What can the Personal Budget be used for?
The potential scope for an EHCP Personal Budget will be identified during the EHC planning and review process considering the views, findings and recommendations of the contributing professionals, discussion with parent carers and the child and young person via a Team Around the Child (TAC) planning meeting or annual review meeting, overseen by a Lead Professional or SEN Principal Officer.
The scope for a Special Educational Needs Personal Budget will not include the financial resource available to education settings, which funds pupil places (Element 1); nor will it include targeted support managed by the education setting (Element 2) which offers additional learning support to individuals, classes or groups of pupils and students.
How is a Personal Budget Set up
There are different payment options available:
- You can opt to receive a pre-paid card which is the preferred method. This is where a card (similar to a debit card) will be sent to you with funds loaded on with an online account ready for use. This is the preferred method as you won’t need to open a separate account or to send us bank statements every three months, as we will be able to monitor the usage from the database. You will still be required to submit receipts when requested so that usage can be audited. This fact sheet will provide more information.
Pre-paid fact sheet.
- You can open a bank account for the sole use of Direct Payments, where you will need to provide us with those bank details to load the funds to every four weeks. Every three months you will be required to complete a quarterly return and attach bank statements and receipts to it, to evidence your usage.
- You can have a managed account or be supported via one of our three commissioned Direct Payment Support Providers (listed below). If you choose to have a managed account, the funds will go directly to the provider and they will pay all your invoices on your behalf and send us the required returns / statements.
Pre-paid Cards for Direct Payments
If the option of a direct payment is preferred and chosen, you can opt for a pre-paid card. The pre-paid card is a flexible, fast and convenient way to manage your account. Payments will be made to the card account every 4 weeks in your card is only to be used to pay for support which has been agreed and is detailed in your Education Health Care plan. For more information with regards to the pre-paid card, click here. Pre-paid fact sheet.
Other types of Personal Budgets
Everyone receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare (including Children’s Continuing Care) has a right to have a Personal Health Budget, which may include the option of a direct payment. The Birmingham CCGs are working with families to find the best way to offer Personal Health Budgets alongside Council funded Personal Budgets to deliver services agreed in EHCPs.
Would a Personal budget affect any other benefits I receive?
No, Personal budgets are not a “benefit” so it would not affect any other social security benefits you may receive.
Do I pay tax on a Personal Budget?
No, personal budgets and direct payments are not classed as income so you don’t pay tax.
What do I need to do if I receive the Personal Budget directly (a direct payment)?
If you decide to have the money paid to and managed by yourself you will need to:
- Open a separate bank account just for your direct payment to be paid into.
- Keep proper records and receipts on how you have spent your funds – these will be monitored by the Local Authority and requested during the year.
If you don’t think the current SEND support for your child is right – how can it be challenged?
Any issues with the support provided should be discussed at a transfer review, an annual review or during the needs assessment process. If there are major changes to a child’s or young person’s needs a parent should request a review in the normal way. Personal budgets are not designed to address provision issues in this way.
For more information and advice about requesting a personal budget you should contact the SENCo at your Child’s school who will be able to discuss with you further the next steps.