Carer personal budgets
A Carer Personal Budget (previously known as a carers break award) is an amount of money awarded to you, to give you a break from your caring role or to buy something that makes your life easier. It is not means tested and if your application is successful, you have a wide choice about how the money is spent.
The Care Act 2014 introduced a number of changes for carers and these included the introduction of a new national carer eligibility criteria, a right for carers to have an assessment of their own support needs and depending on the outcome of the assessment, the provision of a carer personal budget.
A carer assessment identifies a carer's needs, considers which of those needs are not being met as a result of the caring role and if these are eligible needs that require support. The national carer eligibility criteria is set by the government and was put in place to make sure everyone is treated in a consistent way across the country.
A carer personal budget (previously known as a carers break award) is an amount of money that may be allocated to you following a carer’s assessment. The money is not means tested and can be used to buy services and equipment which will help you in your caring role. The money is issued in the form of a cheque through Derbyshire Carers Association and covers a 12 month period, after which your caring role and support needs will be reviewed. If you receive a carer personal budget, you may be contacted to provide feedback on how this has made a difference to your health and wellbeing.
Will everybody who meets the criteria for carer support receive a carer personal budget?
The purpose of an assessment is to ensure that your needs as a carer are identified and the right support can be offered to you. Carer personal budgets are just one of a range of support options to meet a carer’s eligible needs along with other types of support which can include:
- Access to accurate and up to date information
- Advice, guidance and signposting
- Legal advice
- Benefits advice
- Support groups
- 1:1 face to face and telephone support
- Social events
- Training and learning
- Support to the adult who depends on your care
Using a carer personal budget
Carer personal budgets must be used to meet the needs identified in your carers assessment. Examples of how carer personal budgets have been used include:
- funding towards the cost of a holiday or day out
- transport for a break away or visiting family
- funding for a hobby, for example, fishing, golf, cooking, exercise equipment
- college courses or training
- gardening or domestic help
- equipment to help in your caring role, for example, washing machine, dishwasher
- funding to support a return to work
How are Carer Personal Budgets calculated in Derbyshire?
Since April 2017, there has been a banded approach to calculating the value of a carer personal budget, in order to make the amounts fairer, transparent, and benefit those carers with the greatest need. The carer eligibility criteria is used to determine the extent that your caring role is impacting on you and the worker conducting your assessment will discuss this with you.
The banded amounts start at £100.00, £175.00 and £300.00 and if the band does not meet your needs, then a higher, personalised amount may be awarded based on a detailed assessment which will consider such factors as:
Lower need - £100
- You need support to find paid work, voluntary work or an education course
- You need support to take part in social activities
- Other people provide occasional but regular support to the person you care for.
Middle need - £175 band
- You have to change jobs or be flexible with your work or education because of your caring role
- Your relationship with the person you care for may break down
- You are the only carer and have very limited social support.
High need - £300 band
- You may have lost/resigned from your job or had to stop going to college/ university because of caring
- Your relationship with the person you care for is very likely to or has broken down
- Your health and wellbeing is severely affected through your caring duties
- You are the only carer and are socially isolated with no other social support
- The adult you care for will not accept care from another source or will only accept occasional support from other people.
If you are a parent carer
Carer personal budgets are not available for those caring for a person under 18. You can find out about support available for disabled children, young people and their families on the Derbyshire Local Offer website which includes information about the support provided to parent carers including respite and short breaks along with schools, colleges, support groups, health services, childcare, groups and activities. If you want to talk about support for you as a parent carer please contact Call Derbyshire 01629 533190 who will put you in touch with your local multi-agency team to see what other support options might be available to you.
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