View Full Version : Individual Budgets
Has anyone else been told or has information about the proposed individual budgets that are taking place of direct payments?
I have a little knowledge, but not sure just how we would cope should the staff which we will be employing, has to go off sick, or on holidays. Probably staff going off sick is one of the major problems, as we would have to pay sick pay, plus we would need to employ another carer, so in theory we will have to pay twice. I can see the good parts of this system eg being able to choose your own carers, but I also feel that we are having resposibilities pushed upon us that most of us has no experience of, and also that we have enough to do without getting involved in payments of tax and vat etc.
As far as I understand it Individual Budgets will not take the place of Direct Payments but will be another way of getting the services / support that you need.
It used to be the case that if you were assessed by Social Services as needing support then you would have to have a service provided by them, with no real choice.
Then Direct Payments were introduced to give people more choice - and this is when you get the money and have to employ your own carers / pay for your own chosen service (this is what you are referring to I think).
Then Individual Budgets is the latest thing. You would still be assessed - but would have a much bigger role in assessing your own needs. Then, based on the level of need, Social Services would tell you how much money is available to pay for the support you need. You then have to propose how the money is spent and as long as SS approve then you can spend it how you choose. This can be by "buying in" local authority services, Direct Payments (to emply your own staff), or some other more original way - or any combination of these 3 options.
I have heard of people using their budget to pay to go on holiday with paid carers as a way of providing respite to their main carer (rather than going into a residential respite home); or people paying for gym membership as a way of helping with mental health needs.
So - I think the gist is that you won't HAVE to have an individual budget, and if you do you don't HAVE to employ your own staff. But this is intended as a way of giving people more choice in the support / services that they get. If you were to choose to employ your own staff via Direct Payments there are organisations who can help you with the whole process.
Hope this makes a bit of sense.
Yes it does Rachel, I'm quite familier with direct payments, and Penderals Trust deals with all the paperwork, but I've not heard anything at all about sick pay or holiday pay with regard to the individual budgets and this worries me because if in the case of maternity pay we could have to pay for months, plus we'd have to get more staff then pay out again. Although it could be a God send for us in one way, because my husband has has terrible experiences in more than one home, and most struggle to cope with him, so I could get help in house, therefore he wouldn't get so uncontrolable
and he'd also be safe which is another major factor.Thanks again.
Social services is currently running a series of meetings in local venues for Direct payment users about Individual budgets etc.
Thanks blue-kat, I have been to one of these meetings but the questions I have raised here,I failed to ask at the time and I understand I am going to be invited to two more, but these will be for my son so the circumstances are differant, no doubt though I wll be able to ask.
I am also going to a case meeting next week with all the powers that be regarding my husband,and usually everyone turns up for this, so we will be able to question my husbands social worker who I believe will have been to a meeting by then.
As much as I can see this scheme being a God send as it allows people concerned to choose, which is their right, I feel that the government is handing all the responsibilities to people who have no knowledge of employing people and their rights which we could end up on very hot water.
I'm trying to be very posative, because if this does work in our case, this would give my husband a quality of life we could only dream of ,and I wouldn't feel so bad when I have respite. Thank you again. I really appreciate your help.
I understand your worries about being dumped with too much responsibily for the bussiness end.
I hoe you can get some answers at the meetings.
I didn't feel able to attend the meeting at Burton St on Monday, I find the meetings and paperwork is a overwhelming burden. But thankfully my husband is looking after this for me.
We've had a lot of problems with Penderels payroll not doing their job, and causing us a lot of grief with tax etc. The Inland Revenue and SS all did their best to help. We've decied to move to local accounting firm. SS never mentioned that you don't have to go with Penderels for Direct payments support.
Direct payments care has a huge improvement for us, and I hope Independent Budgets will build on this.
However it is very hard to find reliable people who will work the few spread out hours on the books. I've clumped my care hours together into 3 sessions per week, although personally I'd prefer it more spread out. But it wouldn't be worth my excellent carer's unpaid travel time to come for shorter more frequest sessions.
Do you have any links explaining all this? The manager of my support facility spoke of this a few months ago but I've heard very little since. Are they definitely going to be voluntary or will they end up the standard method of care?
For the record, the manager I spoke to was dreading them in practical terms in his field, because some disabling conditions are fairly constant and the needs fairly predictable, but in mental health people's illnesses are very erratic so can't be planned for in the same way. Also, for those who don't have a close carer or family/spouse to keep an eye on things, people could really struggle just at the moment they are rendered incapable of thinking straight. It's hard enough trying to get through to services via NHS direct when your head's gone to planet Zog, but all this talk of paperwork is a bit scary. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? I'll go back and ask the manager some more, but I'd be interested in any other experiences.
I don't think these are going to be compulsory at all, again it's the persons choice and I've spoken to someone at Penderals,and as yet there are no plans,although one of the planned meetings that we've been invited to is to meet up with all the bodies concerned with this scheme, there will be brokers who I presume are willing to take on the paperwork which as I see will be quite a lot, plus someone who can help us employ staff, now this is a very grey area because usually staff like regular clients, and not many will be able to take on someone full time, so carers will have to change their work plans and maybe work for numerous people, and in my experience this is going to be very difficult, I've found it extremely hard to employ staff, I've had an advert on here since before Christmas and so has Penderals on our behalf, but all with no takers, and the wage per hour is more that with care agency's, so I think we'll struggle with this.
I was told to check out this website for more information so perhaps this will help . www.in-control.org.uk
If you find out anymore please let us know and so will I.
Are they definitely going to be voluntary or will they end up the standard method of care?
I am fairly sure they will be voluntary - as are Direct Payments now. My understanding is that if you need services you will have a choice of 3 ways to get these:
1. Have a "standard" service which the Local Authority will pay for directly (the traditional way of getting services).
2. Have Direct Payments - so you get the cash to buy the services of your choice - likely to involve employing your own support staff / carers, or paying to access a service (this has been around a while).
3. Independent Budget - you will be given nominal amount of money to spend on services that meet your assessed needs. You will be much more involved in deciding what these services are - and can choose things which wouldn't normally be thought of as a "service" (eg gym membership, etc) - as long as you can demonstrate that this will meet your needs. The services you choose could be totally "different" (not standard services) or could be Direct Payments (for you to buy your own support) or could be existing services (traditional ones) - or a combination. I would have thought that this is LESS likely to involve employing your own staff than Direct Payments.
Thanks you two for that, and the link. I'll look into it a bit more next week. I saw my worker today and forgot to ask him. :rolleyes:
But if it's definitely voluntary then I don't have to worry. :)