Disability related expenses (DRE)
Disability related expenditure (DRE) is any extra costs you pay due to your disability or illness. These expenses must be directly and only related to your disability.
To make sure that you can afford these costs, we ask about them when we carry out a financial assessment. We make an allowance for any costs we approve. This reduces the amount you will pay towards your care and support.
If you ask us to make an allowance for DRE you must provide us with evidence of the costs. We will need receipts or bills. Where costs are on-going, the receipts or bills should be sufficient to show a pattern of spending.
We will look at your care and support plan as a starting point when deciding DRE. However, allowable disability related expenses will not be limited to what is necessary for care and support. For example, we will take into account above average heating costs.
Examples of disability related expenses
This is not intended to be a complete list. Any reasonable additional costs directly related to your disability may be included:
- Payment for any community alarm system or telecare equipment
- Costs of any day or night care that is not provided by the council or NHS, including respite care
- Costs of any specialist items needed to meet your disability needs, for example:
- Specialist washing powders and laundry
- Additional costs of special dietary needs due to illness or disability - you may be asked to get confirmation of medical diagnosis from your GP or other medical person
- Special clothing or footwear, for example, where this needs to be specially made; or additional wear and tear to clothing and footwear caused by disability
- Additional costs of bedding, for example, because of incontinence
- Any heating costs, or metered costs of water, above the average levels for the area and housing type which are caused by age, medical condition or disability
- Reasonable costs of basic garden maintenance, cleaning, or domestic help, if required because of your disability and not met by social care.
- Purchase, maintenance, and repair of disability-related equipment, including equipment or transport needed to enter or remain in work. This may include:
- IT costs, where needed because of your disability
- Reasonable hire costs of equipment, if due to waiting for supply of equipment from the council
- Personal assistance costs, including any household or other necessary costs if not met by social care
- Transport costs needed due to illness or disability, if not being met by social care or NHS, that are above the mobility component of DLA or PIP, if in payment and available for these costs. In some cases, it may be reasonable not to take account of claimed transport costs - if, for example the council provides transport to a day centre but this has not been used.
It may be reasonable not to allow for items where a reasonable alternative is available at less cost.
If more than one adult lives in the household the weekly household expenses will be divided between the numbers of adults in the household, to calculate the amount to be allowed.
Claims for DRE where the payment is made to family members will not be accepted other than in exceptional circumstances.
Costs which are not usually treated as disability related expenses
Everyday living costs are those costs a person pays regardless of their disability or illness.
This is not a complete list. The following items are examples of expenses considered to be general living costs for which no allowance will be made:
- Routine property maintenance
- Routine replacement of existing household fixtures and fittings and furniture
- Dental expenses
- Privately purchased surgery
- Household/appliance insurance
- Television costs (this includes costs cable or satellite TV and license fees)
- Telephone (including mobile telephone)
- Food and clothes (see above for exceptions)
- Heating bills unless above the average cost
- Water charges unless metered and above the average cost.