As part of the planning process, the local authority will tell the person about their personal budget. This is the amount of money that the local authority has worked out it will cost to meet the needs which the local authority is going to meet.
The purpose of the personal budget is to allow people to make informed choices about how they want their needs to be met, including via a direct payment, by seeing upfront the costs of doing so.
Where the person is going to pay towards some or all of those costs, as determined by the financial assessment, the personal budget will also set out the costs to be met by the person themselves and the local authority.
The draft guidance on personal budgets covers:
- the different required elements of the personal budget
- principles to follow in calculating the personal budget
- agreeing the final budget
- use of the personal budget
- excluding the cost of intermediate care/reablement from personal budgets, where it is provided to meet needs, rather than as a universal preventative service
The regulations state that that the costs of intermediate care/reablement should not be included in the personal budget where it is provided free of charge. The regulations define intermediate care/reablement support. In setting out this definition we are keen to end previous confusion around the meaning of these terms, but also to avoid any unintended consequences related to excluding such provision from personal budgets.