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Carers Personal Budgets

What is a Carers Personal Budget?

A carer’s personal budget is a way that carers may be able to be supported to have a break from caring and improve their health and wellbeing; it is awarded specifically for the purpose of enabling you to ‘switch off’ from your caring responsibilities by taking time for yourself away from your caring role.

Who is eligible?

1. You must be 18 years old or over and caring without payment, for a friend or family member living in Plymouth who because of old age, disability, a long-term illness, mental health condition, or addiction, is not able to care for themselves without support.

2. You must not have received monies from a personal budget/or direct payment from Plymouth City Council in the last 12 months.

3. You must use the funds that you are allocated to enable you to ‘switch off’ from your caring responsibilities as detailed in your personal budget agreement.

We will need to undertake a Carers Assessment with you to ascertain your support needs. If your carers assessment shows that you have needs that cannot be met another way, you may be able to receive a one-off carer’s personal budget payment.

You will need:

• To be an unpaid carer (carers allowance is not classed as payment)

• To care for someone who lives in Plymouth

The carer’s personal budget is not a right for all carers. It is to help support your health and wellbeing, when you have an eligible need for support which cannot be met in another way. You can only be considered for a carers personal budget once every twelve months, unless your caring situation changes.

If the Carers Support Coordinator assesses you are entitled to a carers personal budget, they will help you to fill in a personal budget agreement form. This explains how you want to use the carers personal budget to give yourself a break from caring and how having a break will help you.

This form is then sent to the Caring for Carers office to be processed and the money that has been awarded will be sent directly to your bank account. All applications will take up to 8 weeks to process.

How do Carers Support Coordinators decide my level of need?

The Carers Support Coordinator will use the information in your carer’s assessment. They will look at what other support you have, such as family who can step into the caring role, to give you a break. They will also look at how your caring role is affecting your:

• health and wellbeing

• stress levels

• ability to remain in or return to work

• relationships and family life

• ability to continue with your caring role

Are there things you cannot use your carer’s personal budget for?

You cannot use a Carers Personal Budget:

• towards assessed charges for Plymouth City Council services for the person you care for or the cost of a break for the person you care for

• to fund services that should be provided by other statutory agencies e.g. educational school trips, equipment and adaptations

• to fund activities or personal and intimate care exclusively for the person you care for

• to fund purposes that can be covered by welfare benefits that the carer is in receipt of e.g. income support

• to fund items, such as clothing, food, alcohol or illegal substances

• for holidays or breaks that you have already taken or paid for

• costs of breaks or holidays booked before your carers assessment

• debts and household bills

• gambling (including bingo and the lottery)

How do I ask about carers personal budgets?

Please contact Caring for Carers on 01752 201890 to register as a carer and arrange to have a Carers Assessment.