Self-directed support

Your life – Your choices

Self-directed support (SDS) is the Scottish Government’s strategy for putting you in control of your own life if you need social care or support to help you live in the community. It's backed by new legislation, Social Care (Self-directed support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and a ten year strategy.

Self-directed support has been developed because people using support services have asked for more choice and control in their lives.

Find out more about SDS:

How it works - your options

Self-directed support gives you control over an individual budget and lets you choose how it is spent on the services supporting your needs. It includes options for getting support.

Self-directed support - Option 1

You can choose to have your individual budget paid direct to yourself, or a nominated person. You would use this money for your care needs. You choose and direct how the budget is used, and manage your own budget. This is known as an Option 1, or a Direct Payment.

Find out more information about Option 1

Self-directed support - Option 2

You choose how the budget is used but the money is managed by someone else. This is known as an Option 2.

You can choose to have all or part of your individual budget paid to an Individual Service Fund (ISF) provider. The ISF provider will manage your budget for you. They may book trips or outings for you, or release money to you as needed.

Find out more information about Option 2

Self-directed support - Option 3

You ask us to choose and arrange services for you. These may be our in house services, or may be services provided by certain organisations that we contract with. We arrange payment for these services for you. This is known as an Option 3.

An Option 3 cannot be used for employing staff or purchasing services from organisations that the council does not contract with.

If you have to pay a contribution, then we will send you an invoice for your contribution (in most cases every four weeks). There are many ways in which you can make payment, and these will be listed on the invoice. When your Individual Budget is set up, we will write to you confirming the details, and this will include information about your contribution.

Self-directed support - Option 4

You can choose to have a mix of the three options to suit your individual needs. For example, it may be that you wish to have responsibility for managing some of your budget, but would also like us to choose and arrange some services for you. You may also choose for an ISF provider to be responsible for part of the budget. This is known as an Option 4 – a mix of options 1, 2 and 3.

If you are asked to pay a contribution, the way we will ask you to pay it will depend on the Options that you have chosen and your Support Plan. You may be asked to pay your contribution in to the bank account that you opened for your Individual Budget payments (every four weeks). We may send you an invoice for your contribution (in most cases, every four weeks). There are many ways in which you can pay the invoices, and these will be listed on the invoice. You should not pay the invoices from your Individual Budget money, they should be paid from your personal funds.

Financial assessment

You may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of your individual budget.

You will be offered a financial assessment, which allows us to calculate your available income. You will not be asked to contribute more than your available income.

A financial assessment allows us to verify your income, capital and savings. This allows us to calculate the amount, if any, that you should contribute towards your care and support.

Our upper and lower capital thresholds are £16,000 (upper) and £10,000 (lower). For every £500 of your capital between £10,000 and £16,000 we will take £1 of income into account when calculating how much you should contribute to the cost of your care and support services.

If you are aged 65 or over, and have Personal Care included in your Support Plan, you will not be charged for this element up to an agreed maximum level.

Finance - what you need to know

Our social work finance information pack explains the financial aspects of your Individual Budget, depending on which option you have chosen for your care and support. It explains the four SDS options in more detail. It also explains the financial assessment and how we calculate the amount, if any, you need to contribute to your care and support. It also has information about our care and support services charges and allowances.

View the social work finance information pack (PDF 391KB).

How to apply for SDS

If you’re eligible for support services, you will have your needs assessed by a social worker or care manager. An individual budget will then be identified based on your needs. You’ll be supported to identify your own skills and resources, and will work with everyone involved to look at different ways to improve your life.

A support plan will outline the actions to achieve the desired outcomes using the resources identified and the individual budget.

Further information

Our Self-directed support leaflet, finance information pack and newsletter contain more information about Self-directed support and financial support for social work services.

The leaflet and newsletter gives you general information about SDS and the latest news:

Contact us

If you'd like general information about Self-directed support, or want to sign up for our regular newsletter, email selfdirectedsupport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call us on 01467 623258.

Like our Facebook page for regular information and updates on Self-directed support in Aberdeenshire.

Impartial advice

Cornerstone SDS is an impartial advisory service. They provide support accessing advice and information on Self-directed support, support planning and direct payments for people in Aberdeenshire. The Cornerstone SDS office for Aberdeenshire is based at 25 High Street, Inverurie, AB51 5NB. Telephone number: 01467 530520.

More information is also available on the Scottish Government's Self-directed support website.

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