Direct payments, dre and a Solicitor for a Dad

I spend Thursday evenings reading through the Ombudsmans cases for the week (they send a useful weekly summary).

The first one this week is an interesting long long read about a disabled young man who’s Dad is a solicitor who has spent years trying to understand what can and cannot be claimed as DRE (disability related expenses) and what the Council should and shouldn’t fund in direct payments.
In this case the young man lives with family.

It seems the Council didn’t know much either and kept changing its mind and its information :unamused:

I’m hope Dad is a lurker on here and produces an “idiots guide to direct payments and dre” PLEASE
I also imagine him as the male counterpart of our wonderful Bowlingbun., with tenacity, knowledge and determination :laughing:

As usual the Ombudsmans explanations of the law are simply put.
I hope its of use to many of you.

Hampshire waffle about DRE but they don’t have a list, and social workers don’t know anything about it at all!!

Disability related expenses ?

Internet search using those three words throws up some interesting links.

One of the better ones … Independent Lives web site … a good guide :

Quoting the opening section :


When starting out on a Direct Payment, your Local Authority will give you a financial assessment to see how much they will ask you to pay towards your care. This is called the Client Contribution.

In order to reduce the amount you have to pay for your care, your Local Authority should take into account any Disability Related Expenses (DRE) you have, which they should disregard as available income, reducing the amount of your client contribution.

Disability Related Expenses are any extra costs linked to any disability you have.

You should make sure that when you have your financial assessment, you have a detailed list of all the DRE you have, so your contribution is as cost saving as possible.

It can be tough to think about Disability Related Expenditure. I know from personal experience that your life is simply what you experience every day, and you are probably not used to considering what costs you incur each month that arise from your disability and which do not.

If you can’t think which costs relate to your disability, try and think about your day-to-day life and what items and services you use.

Ask yourself, what is different between what you have to spend compared to a relative, friend or neighbour who does not have your disability or health condition.

But don’t just think about the short term; think about a week, month or year in your life. You may use some items and services more at different times than others.

It may help to look through records you have about your disability and any invoices/bills/receipts to see what you spend in a week/month/year and which costs arise from your disability.

Worth exploring the above link fully … plenty more out there … some read like a legal opinion.

Care Act considerations ?

Look no further … Community Care web site :
Your questions answered on direct payments under the Care Act - Community Care

Even our old friend , Professor Luke Clements weighs in with some real knockout punches :

Challenging reductions in care services – Luke Clements

Just one section from the Prof … has been mentioned in a couple of recent forum threads :


Cutting back through reassessment

One way of cutting back on support is simply to reassess and then state that the needs no longer exist (or no longer require the same level of support). This might also involve saying that family carers can and should do more themselves or even suggesting that they pay for the disabled person’s care and support needs. This directly conflicts with the Care Act 2014 stipulation (section 10(5)) that there be no assumption that carers are willing or able to provide or continue to provide care: legally they do not have to do this.[1] For an advice note on what to do in this situation click here.

A 2017 ombudsman’s case concerned a reduction to direct payments support package, not because the person’s needs had changed, but because the local authority considered that some of her eligible needs (relating to the ‘nutrition’ and ‘maintaining a habitable home’ outcomes) should be paid from her Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This was held to be maladministration: there is ‘nothing in the Care Act 2014 or the statutory guidance which allows the Council to require a person to use their benefits this way’.[2]


Read point number 26, Item x (i.e.10 in roman numerals) Clearly says the council should be paying for disability related expenditure. Just print this off and send it to your council with the bill for repairs to the stairlift!

Care Act 2014 … full sp :

Care Act 2014

Section 26 ?

**_(1)A personal budget for an adult is a statement which specifies—

(a)the cost to the local authority of meeting those of the adult’s needs which it is required or decides to meet as mentioned in section 24(1),

(b)the amount which, on the basis of the financial assessment, the adult must pay towards that cost, and

(c)if on that basis the local authority must itself pay towards that cost, the amount which it must pay.

(2)In the case of an adult with needs for care and support which the local authority is required to meet under section 18, the personal budget must also specify—

(a)the cost to the local authority of meeting the adult’s needs under that section, and

(b)where that cost includes daily living costs—

(i)the amount attributable to those daily living costs, and

(ii)the balance of the cost referred to in paragraph (a).

(3)A personal budget for an adult may also specify other amounts of public money that are available in the adult’s case including, for example, amounts available for spending on matters relating to housing, health care or welfare.

(4)Regulations may make provision for excluding costs to a local authority from a personal budget if the costs are incurred in meeting needs for which the authority—

(a)does not make a charge, or

(b)is not permitted to make a charge._**

I think Pete only reads Roll Call