Personal Budgets and Direct Payments are payments from the local authority that give you or your child the funds to purchase appropriate care. These packages of care allow families to arrange their own support and let them spend the personal budget in a way that best suits their child's needs.
In Greenwich, those aged 0-17 are eligible for these payments if they meet the criteria under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (CSDPA). A decision around eligibility under CSDPA can only be made after a statutory social work assessment is undertaken. For those over 18, the Care Act 2014 is used to determine eligible for provision.
These assessments may be completed by either the Disabled Children Social Work Team or the Assessment & Support Service.
If a child or young person is eligible for a budget, their needs will be assessed in order to put together an appropriate care package specifically tailored for them.
Below is information and guidance on personal budgets and direct payments for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
A personal budget is an amount of money or resource that is allocated to meet the outcomes agreed in your child or young person’s Support Plan or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan), if they cannot be met by the services already available through the Local Offer.
There is not a new pot of money for Personal Budgets, so if you or your child already receives a service, you won’t get both the support you get now and a Personal Budget. It means that some of the service you already receive will be changed into a Personal Budget.
Personal budgets do not represent the total sum of money to support your child or young person as most of the services received by your child are part of the Local Offer.
Not every service is available as a Personal Budget as many of the services provided are part of our Local Offer. You can find out from the Local Offer the services currently available in Royal Greenwich.
We are continuously working to increase the range of services available in our Local Offer. This page will be regularly updated with the most up-to-date information.
A personal budget can be for education, health or social care but there are restrictions on what is available through a personal budget and how it can be spent.
You can find out more about Personal Budgets on the links to the right.
Direct Payments are payments made as an alternative to services provided directly by the Local Authority. With Direct Payments, you are responsible for arranging services to meet the assessed needs of your child and yourself. You pay for those services with the money provided as a Direct Payment. This allows you to choose who provides care or support for you or your child, when that support is provided and in what form it is delivered.
Direct Payments are not considered as income when you are assessed for welfare benefits. Direct Payments will therefore be ignored in the calculation of income related welfare benefits. The Inland Revenue will not regard Direct Payments as forming part of your taxable income.
More information can be found in the Direct Payments booklet 2023 under "Downloads" to the right of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of Direct Payments for me?
Direct Payments allow you to have more control and choice about how you receive services. You can organize your support to be delivered in the ways you want and at the times you choose. This can include employing a Personal Assistant (PA) or accessing suitable activities in the local area.
What is the difference between Direct Payments and a Personal Budget?
A personal budget is an amount of money or resources that is available to meet the need of your child to meet the outcomes or goals agreed in the plan. You can then choose to have the personal budget as a direct payment or provided directly by RBG.