What is Self-Directed Support?

Self-Directed Support is the way that social care in Cambridgeshire is delivered. It involves identifying and allocating a Personal Budget - an upfront sum of money to meet your needs.

Personal Budgets will be available to all adults who are assessed as eligible for support from Adult Social Care. People with substantial and critical needs are eligible for support, but note there may be a financial contribution required towards your Personal Budget depending upon your financial circumstances. There are few constraints on how Personal Budgets are used as long as it is legal and keeps you safe and healthy, meets your assessed support needs, and enables you to do the things you want to do. Recipients have the option to take their Personal Budget as a Direct Payment.

Self-Directed Support involves allocating an estimated amount of money, called the "indicative amount" or "estimated budget" to meet your assessed needs. You should use this estimated amount to plan the support you need to meet your assessed needs. A friend, relative, carer or social care worker can help you with your plan.

Fairer Contributions Policy

Planning your care fact sheet

If you want to know more about planning your support our Support Planning Guides can help you.

Support Planning Guide for older people and people with a physical disability

Support Planning Guide for people with a learning disability Part 1

Support Planning Guide for people with a learning disability Part 2

Your social care worker must approve your plan and then you will be allocated the money for the support you need. This is called your Personal Budget. It can be paid directly to you as a Direct Payment, so that you can arrange your own care and support, we can arrange the support that you have chosen for you, or you can do a combination of the two.

A Personal Budget gives you the independence to:

  • Choose and control the support that is best for you.
  • Be fully involved in decisions about the help you need to live independently.
  • Support yourself in ways that suit you.

Your support costs fact sheet

Once you have made your plan and received your Personal Budget you should get on and live the life you want to lead. You will have a review after 12 weeks to check everything is OK. After that, we will do a review at least once a year to check if your social care needs have changed.

Direct Payment

A Direct Payment is an amount of money for you to arrange and purchase your care and support yourself. You can choose to take all of part of your Personal Budget as a Direct Payment. You can use this to employ individuals, purchase support through an agency or for other options you decide yourself.

Direct payment fact sheet

Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living 1993 Fund is a Trust set up and financed by central government. Its aim is to support long term, independent living for severely disabled people by helping them to live at home instead of in residential care. Further information can be found on the Independent Living Fund (ILF) website.

The ILF will be closing on 30th June 2015 and funds will be transferring to Local Authorities. The County Council is working closely with the Independent Living Fund to make sure the transfer of responsibility for funding arrangements takes place as smoothly as possible. The ILF is no longer accepting any new applications.


If you think your social care needs have changed you can request a review by contacting Adult Social Care Enquiries. Contact them from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays on 0345 045 5202.

What is Self-Directed Support?