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What is a planning amount / individual budget?

A planning amount, also called an individual budget, is a financial amount that has been identified at the support planning stage to meet your agreed outcomes. It indicates the amount of money available to spend to meet your outcomes. You can use your budget to buy your support in different ways and you cannot use it to pay for items not identified within your support plan.

What happens if I don’t spend my entire budget?

If you do not need services for a short period, (for example if you are in hospital), if you need less support because your support needs change or you have difficulty in recruiting staff you should tell your practitioner as soon as possible. They will discuss with you any changes required to your support plan or to your individual budget. From your allocated 4-weekly budget you will be expected to accrue a contingency amount no greater than 4 weeks (the equivalent of a 4-weekly payment).  Any additional funds above this, in the bank account, will be requested back by the finance team when your account is audited.


Can I use Option 1 or 2 if I receive free personal care?

Yes, if you have been assessed as requiring personal care then you can choose to use Option 1 or 2 to purchase personal the care.  You will not be asked to contribute to part of the cost of these services, unless you choose to use an agency that charges a higher hourly rate, or you offer your PA a higher rate of pay.  In these circumstances you will be required to pay the additional sum privately to meet the higher rates.

Will I have to pay for the services received through self-directed support?

When someone receives a service arranged by Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership a financial assessment is completed to decide how much, if anything, the person should contribute towards their care and support needs.

Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership will assess people and calculate how much, if anything, they should contribute towards their individual budget.

What happens if I cannot provide the necessary financial return in the timescale identified?

You will be required to submit financial monitoring returns at 6 monthly intervals.  It is a requirement that these are submitted on time.  If you are unable to do this then the DP Finance Team will begin the escalation procedure which could result in your direct payment being suspended.  

You can find out more about the finance escalation process on the Managing your personal budget page.

If you have any difficulty at all you should contact your practitioner before the deadline is reached, and they will be able to guide you.

How will I know when my financial monitoring returns are to be submitted?

When you receive the direct payment start up letter from the finance team they will have stated the date when your first audit is due.  After the first audit you will be asked to submit your paperwork at 6 monthly intervals.  You will always receive a letter from DP Finance letting you know when an audit is due, and what they need to receive from you.  

What receipts do I have to keep?

You need to make sure every expense is recorded on your regular monitoring statements, no matter how small the amount of the expenditure.

You should keep receipts for all your expenses for your own personal records. However, you only need to provide us a copy of receipts for expenditures over £10 at the time of your financial audit.

What happens to my direct payment if I am admitted to hospital?

If you are admitted to hospital it is important that you (or your legal representative) let your practitioner know. What happens with the direct payment will depend on the circumstances. 

Support will be discussed with the practitioner, NHS staff and yourself (or your legal representative) if you are able to discuss it at that stage. 

As a general rule, the direct payment will be suspended after 4 weeks. If you are in hospital for longer than 4 weeks, arrangements may need to be reconsidered once a discharge is imminent.

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