When informal care becomes a paid job: the case of Personal Assistance Budgets in Flanders

Jef Breda, David Schoenmaekers, Caroline Van Landeghem, Dries Claessens and Joanna Geerts

in Cash and care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348562
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301615 | DOI:
When informal care becomes a paid job: the case of Personal Assistance Budgets in Flanders

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In Flanders (the northern region of Belgium), Personal Assistance Budgets (PABs) have been introduced for disabled people. PABs are cash payments that allow the recipients to employ their own personal assistants. Under the scheme, relatives have no independent entitlement to financial compensation in respect of the care they provide, but must enter into a legal labour relationship with the budget holder. This chapter examines how the PAB arrangement works in practice and the consequences for paid informal carers. It begins by outlining a typology of arrangements for long-term care that sets PABs within a wider context. After brief descriptions of the PAB regulations and the design of a recent study into the operation of PABs, the chapter describes the profiles of budget holders and the people they employ. It then considers the principal reasons and motives for both parties to enter into this paid caregiving arrangement. The chapter describes the overall patterns of care received by the budget holders and the role of their paid caregivers within these wider patterns of support. Finally, it discusses the outcomes of the PAB from the perspectives of budget holders and their paid carers respectively.

Keywords: Belgium; disabled people; informal care; informal carers; personal assistants; long-term care

Chapter.  5810 words.  Illustrated.

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