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Who decides how the money is spent?

This is a joint decision between you and your practitioner.  During your assessment and support planning you and your practitioner will have discussed your outcomes and recorded them in your support plan.  Within the support plan there will be a specific section where you record the items or services for which you wish to use your budget.  This will enable you to clearly identify how to spend your budget appropriately.

Will anyone support me to make decisions about organising my support and spending the identified money?

Your practitioner will help you to do this during your support planning.  They can also signpost you to various paid and unpaid  care and support services.

Do I have to organise my support and manage the money?

Yes, if you choose Option 1, which is direct payments.  If you do not want to have this responsibility you can choose Option 2 which is also known as 'directing your own support'.  By choosing Option 2 you continue to organise your care and support as identified within your support plan and request that your budget is administered on your behalf by either Aberdeen City Council or a provider who offers this service. You continue to make all the decisions regarding your support and you will have chosen not to have the financial management of the budget.

When and how can I make changes to my individual budget?

When you have met one or more of your identified outcomes or you feel you would like to make changes to how your care and support is carried out this must be discussed with your practitioner. If this change requires an alteration to your individual budget then your practitioner will make the necessary arrangements and the Direct Payment Finance Team will notify you when the alteration will show in your bank account.

What can I spend my budget on?

There are some identified items Aberdeen City Council will not agree to:


  • Anything that has not been identified and agreed through the assessment or support planning process
  • Anything that is illegal
  • Client contributions for services, including respite which must be paid from your personal funds
  • Tobacco products, e-cigarettes or alcohol
  • Gambling, including scratch cards, bingo, cards, casinos and slot machines including online gambling 
  • Household expenditure; rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, food/drink, furniture replacement, broadband, anti-virus packages
  • Employ someone who is a Welfare or Financial Guardian or Power of Attorney or who holds parental rights and responsibilities 


This is not an exhaustive list.  Further guidance can be found in the Spending your personal budget document.


Can I buy occasional short breaks (respite)?

Yes, if this has been agreed as an outcome by you and your practitioner.  The short break should provide a positive experience for the person with support needs and gives their carer respite, that is a break or rest from looking after another person.


Short breaks can be offered in a wide variety of settings, for example:

  • Residential homes which have a respite facility
  • Respite-only units (for example, specialist guest houses)
  • In the home of another individual or family who have been specially recruited
  • At home through a support worker or sitting service
  • In more ordinary settings such as hotels or caravans
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