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Short Break Individual Budgets Framework 2021/22

Short Breaks funding (including Provider hours and IB) runs from 1st April – 31st March each year and cannot be carried over. Any unused Provider hours will run out or IB money will be clawed back on 1st April, you will however get a new allocation for the year From April. Any queries please contact the team 020 8356 6796 or


What is an individual budget (IB) Pre Paid Card?

An individual budget is your short breaks allocation converted into money which the family can use to directly purchase short break support and services of their choice. It gives the child or young person and their parent/carer greater control and choice of the short break services that are best for their disabled child or young person.


How much money will I get to use for my short breaks?

The allocation for 2021/22 is £880 (or £440 if you receive a social care package with social activities) to cover the period of 1st April 2021 until 31st March 2022 which can be used flexibly over the school holidays and during the term time. This year you will receive £250 to cover April -June and have the opportunity to use it flexibly for this period due to covid if you are unable to pay for activities in the community. Please see full details here. These receipts and invoices must be submitted to the Short Breaks team. Once the team have carried out checks on your statement that funds have been used appropriately, we will raise a payment that will cover the rest of the financial year July 2021 – March 2022.

Please note: Any unused funds in your account will be clawed back at the end of the financial year, 1st April 2022. You will however receive your new allocation for the following year.

If you join Short Breaks later in the year you will receive a pro rata amount. For example, if you sign up halfway through the year you will receive £440.


What is the process?

Contact the Short breaks team & Fill in a Self-assessment form. We ask that you also read and fully understand this IB Framework and its terms and conditions. If accepted, your allocation will be loaded onto a prepaid card and you will be given this along with a letter stating the amount and time frame to use it (payment usually takes up to 2 weeks) A member of the team will talk you through the Prepaid card manual and can set you up online so you can start using your card.


Withdrawing Cash

If cash was withdrawn or the transaction is not clear which leisure service its been used for, we must have receipts or proof of expenditure sent to Please include your child’s name and date of birth. Once checked, we will raise your second payment. Please note that ‘spot checks’ will be carried out at random throughout the year.


How will I receive the money?

Families that choose to have an IB will receive a prepaid card from the Short Breaks Team, we can post this out to you or arrange for you to come and collect it from the office. Your allocated funds will be loaded automatically onto your card.


What can/can’t I use it for?

Individual budgets must be used to access a short break for your child or young person, this can be any fun social or leisure daytime activity or service that both allows a disabled child or young person to have an enjoyable break away from their main carer, and gives their carer a break from their caring responsibilities.

It can include buying a service such as Horse riding, swimming, music sessions, ice skating, trips out to the Zoo, theatre, cinema, theme parks, art sessions, gardening club, Karate classes, cooking classes, sports and exercise, attending a mainstream or specialist setting and adventure playground. It may cover an activity that you consider to be a short break, if you are unsure or have queries please contact the Short Breaks team on (020 8356 6796).


Can it be used to pay a carer?

Yes, you can use your IB to pay for a carer. This can be a family member, family friend or an agency worker. You will be responsible for recruiting your child’s carer. We have a list of approved agencies if you need support. You will need to organise and manage the carer, their hours and the activities they provide for your child. We also ask that you pay the carer by bank transfer so that there is an online transaction history for all payments. You will also need to submit a timesheet so that we can see the date, number of hours, activity and the cost for each time your child is looked after by a carer. The team can send you a template.


It cannot be used for…

Holidays or trips away including travel (Although IB can be used whilst on holiday to buy services or activities i.e. one family paid for their young person to access Kayaking and water sports whilst on a family holiday). If you would like a weekend away, you can use your IB to access Kench Hill, please see below. It also cannot be used to buy: Any subscription services, large electronic items such as TV’s, any white goods, items for home repair or improvement, items for siblings, education/tuition services, food/drink from Supermarkets, Deliveroo, UberEats etc, fuel, animals/pets, clothing, toys, equipment, hotels or accommodation,

Kench Hill: We have recently introduced Kench Hill in Kent which can be used as a holiday destination and bought with your IB. They have received specialist training and provided with new equipment funded by short breaks so that they are as accessible as possible for disabled children. Kench Hill provides specialist breaks for short breaks children on allocated days throughout the year. For more info contact Kench Hill Manager, Sandi on Tel: 01580 762073


Can I use it for lots of different activities?

Yes, you can use it to try out different activities and are not restricted to just one. We just ask that you please use your card for costs incurred so that we have evidence of expenditure. If you have queries about an activity you would like to use please contact the Short Breaks team.



Your IB can be used to pay for travel to your child’s short break activity, please keep hold of the receipts and note which activity you used the travel for. The cost of travel needs to be proportionate to the activity. Remember that once your child’s allocation of money runs out there won’t be any additional funds so we recommend that you seek the lowest cost for transport or arrange it yourself so you have as much money as possible to spend on the actual activity. Note: IB cannot be used to purchase plane tickets or other means of travel abroad.



You can use your IB money to buy lunch or snacks for your disabled child whilst out at a leisure setting. This must relate to your day out and we ask that you use a maximum of £30 to cover any lunch/snack costs.


Can I use it to pay for siblings on a trip out?

You can use your child’s IB to pay for entry into a service for a sibling or parent/carer if you consider this to benefit you as a short break. We would also expect you to contact the place of interest in advance to make sure you get the best concession rate possible. Majority of activities, theme parks, cinemas etc. that require an entry fee will have a concession rate for disabled children or allow a free carer ticket. Please note that the IB is specifically for your child with a disability and we would expect that the majority of the funds pay for them.


How will we monitor?

Families must use services within the allocated funds available. The team will check that you have used your funding appropriately before raising your 2nd payment. We do not recommend that you withdraw cash. If you are unable to pay for an activity using your prepaid card you MUST retain any receipts and invoices of costs incurred and submit them to or upload them to your online PFS account.


If you have any other queries or feedback about Individual Budgets, please contact the Short Breaks team. For information on our flexible offer during Covid please see here.