When you contact us for support we will do an assessment of your needs. If this assessment shows that you are eligible for ongoing social care support we will use a Resource Allocation System (RAS) to work out an estimated budget – an estimate of the amount of money it will cost to meet your care needs each week.
What does the RAS do?
The RAS creates an estimate of the cost of your care which allows us to tell you as quickly as possible what sort of support you will need, so you can start planning your care.
The final amount will depend on individual circumstances and the availability and cost of services. This amount will be your personal budget and it may be more or less than the estimated budget.
Once you have your final personal budget, we can use it to buy services for you from our contracted providers – we call this commissioned care, or you can opt for a form of self-directed support, like a direct payment.
The options you can choose from include
- pay it as direct payments so you can buy your own services
- use it to buy services for you from our contracted providers
- organise a mixture of options 1 and 2, with some care from a DCC approved provider and organising some services yourself using direct payments
Read our factsheet about fair and affordable care to help you understand the way in which personal budgets are established when there may be different options for meeting your eligible needs.
Organising your support
After your assessment, we will talk to you about your personal budget and direct payments to organise your own services. A direct payment gives you the freedom to organise your services when and how you want them.
Help with organising your support
You can get help with managing your support and your budget from a friend or family member, or an independent organisation. You can also nominate someone to act on your behalf to manage employing a carer.
If you are concerned about managing your support, our Arranging Support Team or Care Direct can help you.
More information on personal budgets and direct payments can be found on the Age UK website.