Self-directed Support

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. SDS allows you to choose how your support is provided, and gives you as much control as you want of your individual budget.

It is backed by the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and a ten-year strategy.

Find out more about SDS:

How it works - your options

SDS 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 into a SDS payment card account. The account will be opened in the name of the person managing the budget, so in your own name or the name of 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. A SDS payment card account will be opened in your name, but managed by the ISF provider. They will also manage your budget. 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.

How to request SDS

If you’re eligible for support services, you will have your needs assessed by a Social Worker, Care Manager, Local Area Co-ordinator or Enablement and Support Co-ordinator. 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.

Request a care assessment to check if you are eligible for support services.

More information and contact us 

If you'd like general information about SDS email or call 0345 608 1206.

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

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 3QA. Telephone number: 01467 530520.

Privacy notice

View our Adult and Older People Services privacy notice (PDF 297KB) to find out how information about you is gathered and used.