Refusal of spending sds

Hi just looking for advice so we had our budget for 2 and half years we have had continuous hold up by SW disability team in order to use budget I had 2 pa throughout the last two years which sw disability team said to me to look for them it’s still not been signed off due to continued staff changes withing SW also refused sensory equipment and sensory bed for child’s needs because we are in a temporary accommodation also refused any adaptions due to temporary accommodation then refused repsite holiday anyone any advice I also asked for direct payment to get the pa started was told it’s complicated I have a meeting this week with SW disability team on their failure to allow me to use the budget to support my childs needs any advice be great

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Hi Michelle,
Thank you for your post. It sounds like there has been a few things happening over the last couple of years. I wasn’t sure if you have already employed some Personal Assistants over this time or you were still looking to do this?

There are a couple of things that come to mind that might be helpful. There is likely to be an Independent SDS Information and Support service in your area. I don’t know if you’re already connected with them, but if you’re not, you could either do a search using our ‘Find Help’ tool on our website here: SDS Scotland website
Or, you could just let me know which Local Authority are you live in and I could forward on their contact details.

As an unpaid carer for your child, you would be entitled to an Adult Carers Support Plan (ACSP). This involves a good conversation with someone that understands carers needs and if you meet local eligibility criteria for carers, you could be offered an SDS budget to help meet your needs. Alternatively, this budget could be directed towards paying for the support that your child needs. Most Carers Centres will offer ACSPs and I could do a quick search to find the details of your local Centre of you could let me know your Local Authority area.

In terms of what you can expect from the Social Work Department in terms of how they implement SDS locally, there is something called the SDS Standards, which you can find here: SDS Standards
If you look at Standard 12 on p.15, this outlines a number of things you could refer to, such as:

  • 12.8 People are informed and involved in making decisions about what they can and cannot spend a budget on. Budgets spends should be fair, proportionate, legal, equitable, auditable and necessary to meeting personal outcomes. Flexibility and creativity in how a budget can be spent is encouraged.

  • 12.9 Personal budgets can be spent in any way that is legal and that is related to meeting agreed personal outcomes.

  • 12.10 All budget administration processes are transparent, efficient and minimise bureaucracy while meeting statutory requirements for monitoring and best value. Where any administrative problems arise, these must be resolved in a timely and compassionate manner in order to avoid stress and breakdown of trust.

  • 12.14 People can be flexible about spending different amounts on their support from one week to the next, and at different times of the year, within limits which are agreed between the worker and the supported person. People also have flexibility to move between options on request.

Hopefully your local Independent SDS Information and Support service, or Carers Centre, or Advocacy service could support you further, but this might give you some further information that you could refer to. Do let me know which Local Authority area you are in and I will pass on further relevant contact details.

Many thanks,


Looks a bit messy. My advice would be to go for a less onerous option whilst your own situation remains fluid and volatile - rather than employ staff directly, ask an agency like Cornerstone or Enable to sort it out for you. Then when things settle down into a more steady place, think about switching back.

Just so i understand, do you mean you’ve got an account set up for the direct payment, and it has money accumulating in it, but you are unable to use it? If so, what hasn’t been ‘signed off’?

Are you asking to use the money for something (e.g. sensory equipment) and social work is saying ‘no’?

Do you have a support plan with a section in it called ‘personal outcomes’?

@MarkieBoy is right to point out that section in the standards, especially section 12.9. There are even more authoritative things you could rely on if push comes to shove, namely statutory guidance, the 2014 Regulations and the 2013 Act itself.