Direct Payments and other ways to use your Adult Social Care Personal Budget

Last updated: 22/08/2022

After you've had an assessment of your care and support needs, you may be allocated a Personal Budget to use to pay for your care and support.

If you receive a Personal Budget we'll give you some advice to help you plan how to use it.

Please note that Personal Budgets are for social care needs.  There is a separate system called Personal Health Budgets run by the NHS for people with long-term health issues and disabilities.

Who to contact

Adult Social Care 01635 503050
Personal budgets for adults

Where to go

West Berkshire Council
Council Office
Market Street
RG14 5LD

Time / Date Details

When is it on
The office and phone line is open Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am to 4.30pm on a Friday. We are closed on bank holidays.

Other Details


Age Ranges
Referral required
Other notes

For out of hours social care (not health) emergencies, please contact the Emergency Duty Team: Tel: 01344 786543 Fax: 01344 786535

Local Offer


Direct Payments and other ways to use your Adult Social Care Personal Budget

After you have had a care and support needs assessment, you may be allocated a Personal Budget to use to pay for your care and support.

If you receive a Personal Budget, we will give you some advice to help you plan how to use it.

A Personal Budget can be used in three ways. You can:

  • Take your personal budget as a direct payment that you then decide how to spend
  • Ask West Berkshire Council to arrange, manage and pay for your support (this is called a commissioned service)
  • Choose a combination of both

Please note: Personal Budgets are for social care needs. There is a separate system called Personal Health Budgets, run by the NHS, for people with long-term health issues and disabilities.

Direct Payments

Receiving a Direct Payment means that you take responsibility for arranging and buying your care and support, to meet the needs that have been agreed in your support plan. 

People who decide to take direct payments have more choice and flexibility about how their support needs are met. 

Our Direct Payment Guide [3.51MB] provides details on the stages of setting up a Direct Payment and the help that we can offer.

Direct Payments can be used flexibly to:

  • employ a Personal Assistant
  • fund day activities or replacement care
  • directly employ an agency
  • or use a combination of council commissioned services

West Berkshire Council will need to agree your plan with you. If you decide on Direct Payments, you will need to sign a contract which clearly outlines your responsibilities and shows you understand them. This is called a  Direct Payment agreement [92.12KB] .

Once the Direct Payments are set up, we will make arrangements with you to monitor and review your account from time to time.

Paying for Adult Social Care Services

Adult Social Care services are chargeable. How much you pay will depend on your needs and your ability to pay for them.

We need to consider your individual circumstances and perform a financial assessment to work out how much you need to contribute toward your care.


You can read more about finding a trustworthy and approved personal assistant on our Support With Confidence page.

SEN Provision Type
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Severe Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
19 plus

General Provider

Is your service accessible? (consider in general terms how you make your service accessible, in addition to any specific premises issues)

For guidance and support about Direct Payments including recruiting and employing Personal Assistants, contact the: Direct Payment Financial Reviewing Team 01635 503433  If you require any information in a different format such as audio tape or in another language, please ask an English speaker to contact Adult Social Care on 01635 503050

What are the eligibility criteria for your service? (please include any age restrictions, types of need catered for etc)

National Eligibility Criteria The Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2014 set out a national eligibility threshold. This means that there's a level of need at which we will offer support - it's now set by the government so it's the same wherever you live. 

Further information about eligibility is available on the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) website. We can only give you support if you are assessed as having an eligible need. If you're not assessed as having an eligible need, we'll still provide information, advice and agree any preventative actions to help you remain independent. This might include putting you in touch with other services, organisations and support groups. If you're assessed as having eligible needs; we will work with you to identify solutions and agree the things we need to do to meet your requirements. We'll agree the steps with you and write them down in a detailed Care and Support plan for you.

How are referrals/applications made to your service? (include details of who can refer/apply and referral and application process)

Anyone, friends, relatives, carers, guardians or health professional can make a referral by making a phone call to 01635 503050 and answering a number of questions or by completing the online Adult Social Care enquiry form

What is your service standard for responding to referrals/accessing services? (include timescales for responding to referrals and accessing services)

Response times vary according to the urgency of the need identified.

Who provides / funds your service?
Local Authority
Are children, young people, parents / carers charged for your service?
Details of charges, whether any help is available with costs

Adult Social Care services are chargeable. How much you pay will depend on your needs and your ability to pay for them. Information and advice is free. If you require a chargeable service - we will carry out a financial assessment based on your personal financial circumstances only, to see whether you would have to contribute towards the cost of your service.

Feedback and complaints procedure

We aim to provide the best service to you and we like to know when we are getting it right. We also recognise that at times things can go wrong. When they do, we want to put things right quickly, and use the experience to improve our services and prevent future problems.

We will decide with you on the best way to resolve your complaint. If another organisation is involved, such as the National Health Service or a care provider, we'll also include them.

Our leaflet, Listening to Your Views - How to complain about or comment on Adult Social Care services provides a summary of our complaints process. How to make a complaint Speak to the manager of the service you are dealing with – most concerns or complaints can be resolved quickly through discussions with the manager or contact the Adult Social Care Complaints Manager by Email:  Telephone: 01635 503391 Fax: 01635 519939.  Alternatively you can register your complaint online.

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

Pre-employment checks are carried out for all employees to ensure that they are suitable for employment, appropriately qualified and can be lawfully employed. For some roles, checks are carried out to ensure the applicant does not pose a risk to the safety of children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

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