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New SDS Act

Self-directed Support Act


The way that social care services are funded is changing. The Scottish Parliament has passed a new law on social care support, the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, which was launched on 1 April 2014.

Self-directed support (SDS) gives people the opportunity to have more control over how their support is delivered, and allows people to be more creative, by choosing how to spend the individual budget allocated for their support.

The Act requires local authorities to offer people four choices:

  • Option 1: a Direct Payment (a cash payment) where the person has full control of their budget and can pay for the support they need.

  • Option 2: the person chooses a provider to allocate the budget to, but the person is in charge of how it is spent. This is sometimes called an individual service fund (ISF).

  • Option 3: the local authority (the council) can arrange the services, but the person still has the right to choose their services.

  • Option 4: the person can choose a mix of options for different types of support.

So how is this different to before?

People can choose the level of control that they want over their budget. People will know how much their budget will be, and can decide how to spend it.

Direct Payments can now be used for more than services. They can be used to buy things (such as gym memberships) as long as they are agreed by the local authority and will contribute to something that the person wants to achieve (also known as their outcomes). The focus of everything is now outcomes.

The Act contains other duties and powers. For example, there is a power to local authorities to support unpaid carers, and there is a duty on local authorities to give people information to help them make an informed choice.

For more detailed information about how this will affect you, please contact:

Or visit these websites:

For easy-read information about the Act go to:

ENABLE Scotland,INSPIRE House,3 Renshaw Place,Eurocentral,N Lanarkshire,ML1 4UF.Tel: 01698 737 000. Registered Charity Number SC009024

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