Disability-related expenses (DRE)

Hi there

We have been working recently to produce a guide on DRE for carers to use during financial assessments for council or trust (NI) delivered care.

Sharing a true picture of the cost of DRE in these assessments can bring down the amount of weekly care charges significantly, and in some cases offset them altogether.

It would be great if you could share with your fellow carers things that you have had agreed as DRE with your council or trust (including which authority if you don’t mind sharing that). There is great power in sharing your successes, and we will aim to include some of them in future versions of the guidance.

Thanks and will post the guide when it goes live too…


our LA have very limited understanding of DRE and don’t recognise autism related DRE without a fight. They seem to only recognise DRE in relation to incontinence!!


Hi Melly, sorry to hear that, it’s all too common and there’s a real lack of guidance out there (which is why we are publishing our guide in the New Year).

Page 371 of the Care Act Guidance gives some practical information that you could use as the basis of a challenge. It’s in the guide, which I’ll post as soon as it’s ready, but you can also read it here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315993/Care-Act-Guidance.pdf

All best wishes


Thanks Aaron.


Hi everyone

Very pleased to share that we have some detailed guidance available on Disability Related Expenses.

Do please take a look, share your stories and feedback, and let us know if it has helped you at all.



Very useful information. I’ll be in touch with the helpline about my problems with Hampshire.

Equipment aids -
repair insurance scooter/wheelchair etc
Special mattress for particular medical needs

This is incredibly wide. How they will help (or fund you to help yourself) depends on your plan.

Financially - the idea is that it helps you specifically with disability related costs. It can cover costs for support workers, therapies, assistive technology costs or modifications to your home for accessibility. You can also get “consumables” which covers things like continence supplies. In that sense, it helps financially. But ordinary living expenses aren’t covered.

Do they give you the money? Depends on how the plan is managed. Agency or plan managed, you don’t handle any funds. You just get service providers to claim directly from the NDIA or plan manager. If you are self managed, you can claim the funds online after you’ve used a service. There are a few exceptions, but it depends on your plan.

Tuquerolvantck, are you sure you’re in the UIK?

How do they offset the cost of things that are a one off rather than a once type thing? I’ve spent a fortune in the last 4 weeks since Dad has been home, but other than the internet they’ve pretty much all been one time purchases.

Disability Allowance is a weekly amount (up to $66.11) for people who have regular, ongoing additional costs because of a disability or health condition. These could be costs like:

visits to the doctor or hospital
extra clothing, or
There are certain criteria people need to meet to qualify for the Disability Allowance.

It’s available to most people who qualify for a Community Services Card.
People don’t have to be on a benefit.
It depends on their income.

This site is primarily for unpaid carers living in the UK, so your information does not apply here.

Hi all!

Thanks to everyone for your comments so far on DRE. As Aaron says, it is really helpful to hear your viewpoints as we go on to develop the guidance further.

Just another reminder that this is a link to our page in case you wish to share it with anyone else:

Henry’s Cat - thanks for that question. I’m seeking more information from one of our advisers at the moment and will come back to you.

Best wishes,

Henry’s Cat, thank you for your question.

Sorry for the delay in coming back to you - this is the reply from one of our advisers:

'Thank you for your message. One off items that are purchased can also be considered disability-related expenses - as long as they are bought to support the individual’s impairment. The way it is offset in the financial assessment can be over a period of time, which the local authority will explain, i.e. it can be a certain amount of money of the overall expense over 6-12 months. It depends on the cost of the service/item bought.

It is important to provide receipts and proof of purchase. Of course, it is not always possible to prove every expense so local authorities should consider this when assessing expenses. The Care and Support Statutory Guidance, paragraph 8.2 states that ‘the overarching principle is that people should only be required to pay what they can afford.’’

I hope this is helpful - best wishes,

Thanks so much Jane & Aaron. Dad is self-funding at the moment but we’ve got receipts of every single thing I’ve bought (primarily because I’m covering my backside with regards to spending my dad’s money / dispersal of assets etc). Hopefully in a few months (about 3-4 we think) when he drops under the capital allowance, they will still take these things into account. We’ve bought a lot of tech such as Alexas, cameras etc, plate guards, wheelchair (this was second hand so is the only thing we don’t have a receipt for as my brother got it…), different coloured mat so he can see the contrast, pill boxes etc. All of this has been at the request / suggestion of various health care professionals.

Going forward and knowing I will have to collect evidence of this, how do you show an increase in things like heating & water use? Prior to this year I would say compare your bills but of course, everyone’s bills have gone up anyway! He’s much less mobile so is feeling the cold more and we’re doing a lot more washing - he’s getting in more of a mess with food so we’re using bibs when we can convince him, plus his new blindness is causing some inadequacies in personal care (wiping). I’ve been in touch with an organisation that can help to identify ways of cutting down your bills, efficient home heating etc, so I’m hoping we can save some money that way too.

Hi Henry’s Cat. Your bills will also show increased usage for gas and electricity - and water if you have a meter.

The bills will show a significant increase if you’re needing more heating, for example, or doing a lot more washing.

No problem @Henrys cat - I’m glad these resources and discussions are helping in some way. Regarding energy use, it can be vary difficult to evidence an increase from bills, as we very rarely have a month with and without washing etc to compare. If you do, you can use the KWH values and difference, rather than the £ value - and calculate the cost of the additional KWH of energy used.

Another approach is to calculate the electricity/water cost for each cycle of laundry and then state how many extra loads of laundry you are doing. For this you use the wattage of the machine (from the manual/energy sticker), the length of the cycle, and multiply by the cost per KWH.

If all this sounds complicated, please rest assured that we are looking into how we can develop tools to make it easier to calculate these types of expenses, and DRE in general. Watch this space for announcements!

How do I start a claim for DRE please? Who do I contact first? The local council? It is indeed a nightmare to navigate this process? Or, would you recommend liaising with carers UK first and doing it via them, given the complicated process rather than going solo? many thanks

One of the facebook groups I belong to is urging people to write to their LA to ask them to complete waive all charges for care. I’ve just done this. Apparently a number of LA’s will do this if asked!!! I’ve just written to Hampshire to ask them to do this for my son.

You don’t claim DRE. It’s an element in the calculation for charges for social care. DRE means “Disability Related Expenditure,” and allows for the fact that some costs are greater for disabled people, so that additional expense is taken off your total income. The effect should be to lower the charges you pay.

Personally, I’m with Bowlingbun on this. Nobody should be charged - it should be the same as the NHS, as there really is only an arbitrary difference between health and social care. Is good personal hygiene necessary for good health? A good diet, with properly cooked food? So what is the difference?