Personal budgets

A personal budget is an agreed amount of money given to a child’s parent or a young person over 16, to buy support and services.

A personal budget must be offered to you and you can request one  during an assessment of need or when an EHC plan is being reviewed. If you already have a personal budget for care, this will continue and be included in the EHC plan.  

There are three types of personal budget:

  • A personal social care budget: for support at home and in the community, such as family support or a short break.
  • A personal health budget: for complex, long-term or life-limiting conditions, to help with equipment costs or other health services.
  • A personal SEN budget: for complex learning support needs that cannot be met by the school.

Not everyone has a personal budget, it will depend on the support that is needed and agreed in the EHC plan.

The benefits and responsibilities of a personal budget will be shared with you when you discuss your options, so that you can decide if a personal budget is right for you.

Managing a personal budget

Parents manage a child’s personal budget up until the end of year 11, the end of compulsory school age. After this, a young person can take responsibility for the budget if they have the capacity to do so. This is defined by the Mental Capacity Act, (external link) and will need to be decided through an assessment.

Personal budgets can be managed in different ways:

  1. Notional budget
    Lancashire county council can manage the budget; the money available will be used to arrange and pay for the support and services needed. 
  2. Budget held by a third party
    Another person or organisation can manage the budget; the money available will be used to arrange and pay for the support and services needed.
  3. Direct Payment
    The money available will be provided to arrange and pay for the support and services needed directly.

A mix of these three options can be used.

Further information

Not everyone can have a personal budget and only certain types of support can be paid for using the money available. For more information please see the personal budgets policy (PDF 520KB).

Information and guidance about personal budgets which you might find useful:

  • Contact (PDF Factsheet) how you can have more say, including direct payments.
  • Kids a range of information including a guide for families on personal budgets and direct payments