Managing your child's support - personal budgets and direct payments

A personal budget (PB) is a way to use your funding to meet your child’s needs. It means you a have a say in how the money you’re entitled to is spent. 

How much you get will vary from one person to another.

You don’t have to have a PB if you don’t want it. You’ll still get the support you're entitled to.

The PB can be looked after by:

  • you (direct payment)
  • the local authority, school or college (arrangement or notional budget)
  • someone else (third party arrangement)
  • a mixture of the above

Who can have a personal budget

You can ask for a PB if:

  • you’re a parent of a child with an EHC plan
  • you’re a young person who has an EHC plan (after the end of the school year in which you turn 16)
  • your child has been assessed as needing an EHC plan, but this has not yet been finalised

How to ask for a personal budget

Talk to your family link officer about this. You can ask when the EHC plan is being prepared, or when it's under review.

If you’re a young person and your request has been turned down, we’ll write to you and tell you why. You can ask us to review our decision.

What you can use your personal budget for

You can use it for services that help to meet outcomes agreed in section F of your EHC plan.

You can find out more about what can be included in a PB in section 9, paragraphs 110 to 118 of the SEND code of practice.

There’s also information about PBs on the IPSEA website.

Using a personal budget for other types of support

Talk to your family link officer to find out if you can also ask for a PB for other areas of support.

If you're over 18 and don't have an EHC plan, you can still get a PB for social care. You'll also eligible for continuing health care. To get this, contact Initial Intake and ask for a Care Act assessment.

Other support

You may also be eligible for an NHS personal health budget.