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Definitions of a Personal Budget

A personal budget is an amount of money identified to deliver certain aspects of provision set out in a support plan.
There are three types of personal budget:

Social care

This is the budget that will be made available if a young person or child is assessed as needing additional and individual support outside school or college, such as in the home and when out and about in the community.


From April 2014, children or young people in receipt of NHS Continuing Care have had the right to request a personal health budget and from October 2014, this became a 'right to have'. As of April 2015 a personal health budget offer is now extended to people with long term conditions and mental health who do not meet the eligibility criteria for Continuing Care.


These budgets are only available to people who are having an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) prepared or reviewed. The funding for this element of the personal budget will come primarily from 'high needs block' funding. The availability of the budget will be determined by the learning outcomes in the plan, so will depend on individual circumstances. It will also depend on whether the education setting can identify funding that can be used as a personal budget.

If the personal budget is to be used in a nursery, school or college setting the local authority can only make the budget available with the agreement of the head of setting or college principal.

Eligibility and how amounts are agreed

  • Children's social care will carry out an assessment, identify relevant services and convert any personal budget elements into an amount of money. 
  • Health will carry out an assessment and the needs that are eligible to be taken as a personal budget will be identified. 
  • Education budgets will be determined by the indicative level of funding that is written into the draft EHC plan.
  • Adult social care will carry out an assessment which results in the allocation of a notional cash amount. This is called a resource allocation system.
Some social care services are co-funded. This means they require a cash contribution from people. Personal budgets can't be used to pay the co-funding element of care.

The amount of money is dependent on the amount of provision needed.