Date Revised:

Self-directed support allows your local council to pay you money directly so that you can arrange your own care and support.

Self-directed support (SDS) allows your local council to pay you money directly so that you can arrange your own care and support.

SDS give you choice and control over what kind of support you get. This means you can choose and arrange some or all of your own support instead of having it chosen and arranged by other people.

If the person you care for gets support from their local council, part of what you do in caring for them could be helping them to decide what kind of support they want, or making sure that the support they get works for both of you and complements the care you provide to them.

Find out more about Self-directed support in Scotland.

Self-directed support for carers

If you get support from your local council because of your caring role, you may be able to get self-directed support and have the same kind of choice and control over the support you get.

If you provide, or intend to provide, a substantial amount of care on a regular basis you can have a carer’s assessment or carer support plan. You might be able to get SDS as a carer if your carer’s assessment says you need help with your caring role.

You can use the payments to buy any services your carer’s assessment said you need to support your caring role. This could be employing someone to help whilst you take a break from caring. 

You can’t use the money to buy services for the person you care for (they would need to buy those out of their own self-directed support). 

If you already get support from your local council, next time you review your support plan ask to talk about self directed support. 

If you don’t currently get any help from your local council get in touch with them to arrange a carer’s assessment or carer support plan. 

Self-directed support for the person you care for

The person you care for may be able to get self-directed support to pay for services that the local council would normally provide.  They need to be assessed by their local council to decide if they qualify for help and if they need to contribute to the cost of this. Get in touch with their local council to find out more.

They can use the money for anything that is agreed in their support plan.  This could include help with personal care, with housework, with meals, or getting out and about. They could also buy help from an agency/care worker or employ their own personal assistant.

How is the money paid?

  1. You can have your personal budget paid directly into a bank account for you – this is called a direct payment
  2. You tell your local council how to spend the budget is spend.
  3. Your local council decides how to spend the money
  4. A combination of the above. 

The thought of having to sort out all your own money to pay for social care can seem daunting but your local council will be able to help you decide what suits you best. Your local carers centre can also help you through the self-directed support process and you can also find support on the Making sense of self-directed support online course. 

Chris' story from Carers Trust Scotland 

Chris, from North Argyll, shares his story. With the help of support services, and North Argyll Carers Centre he accessed self-directed support. He cares for his dad.

Next update due: June 2017