Personal budgets

Find out about personal budgets and using direct payments to arrange and pay for your own care


A personal budget is the amount of money Essex County Council will pay towards the care and support you need.

It’s made up of the amount we must pay and the amount, if any, you must pay.

How the decision is made on what support you need

The first step will be to meet with a social care worker. This is called a care assessment. They will assess if you need more help from us to meet your outcomes.

They will talk to you about your strengths and what you can do for yourself, without help. They will ask about how others can help you, such as your family, carers or help from your local community.

If you need more help to achieve your outcomes, we will work out how much this support costs. We will then give you a personal budget to pay for it.

The amount you get will depend on your income and savings, so we'll need to carry out a financial assessment first.

A personal budget itself is not counted as income and will not affect any other income that you receive.

To request a care assessment, contact Adult Social Care.

The amount of support you get will be reviewed each year. If your circumstances change, you will need to let us know as soon as possible.

How you receive your personal budget

You have three different options on how you receive your personal budget. These are:

  • a direct payment
  • an individual service fund
  • a council managed fund