Being an individual employer can help you to live independently and in a way that you choose - they work for you, you decide what you want them to do and you decide when you want them to work.
You can use a personal budget from health and/or social care (direct payment or personal health budget) or your own money (also called self-funding) to pay for your personal assistant(s).
When you employ a personal assistant, this means that you become an employer. This can be daunting and there are things that you need to think about - which is why we have developed our 'Employing personal assistants' toolkit which helps you to think about your responsibilities and legal obligations as an employer.
Here are some more resources to help you to understand more about being an individual employer.
This video from Ruils will help you think about what you might need from a personal assistant and what they need from you.
In Control has designed this workbook to help you think about how you want your life to be and how to get the support to make that happen.
This website from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of York, will help you recruit and train a personal assistant to support you at work.
A personal health budget allows you to manage your healthcare and support such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits you. This webpage includes a video that explains what a personal health budget is and how they are used.
In these case studies, individual employers talk about their experiences of employing personal assistants and share their advice to others.
Find local support
There are lots of organisations that can support individual employers and personal assistants, for example user led organisations (ULOs), direct payment support organisations (DPSOs) and the relevant support teams in local authorities/clinical commissiong groups.
They can support you with a wide range of things, including information on how you can use your direct payment or personal health budget to employ personal assistants. Some organisations can also help to find personal assistants, manage their wages, insurance and training. They might also have a register where employers can find people to work for you and where personal assistants can advertise that they are looking for work.
This directory lists support organisations and local authority/clinical commissioning teams across England - it's split up by region to make it easy for you to search.
Small Good Stuff link people and organisations who offer support with people who need care and support.