May 172015

If you get care funding from your local council this is often not free and you will have to have a financial assessment to see how much they will ask you to pay towards your care. In order to reduce the amount you have to pay for your care here is a list of Disability Related Expenses which they should disregard as available income, thus reducing the amount they ask you to pay.

These are not costs you can claim for.

This is not an exhaustive list and if there are any glaring omissions please let us know.

On the ILF email group we’ve been chatting about Disability Related Expenditure and I have collated people’s suggestions which have been very helpful.


It was suggested that to prove something is a “disability related expenditure”, not an expense that non – disabled people would also have, we could also give the reason why someone says that it is “disability related” e.g you could argue that a food processor is a “disability related” expense if you have an impairment which causes difficulties with chopping fruit/vegetables – by having the food processor it means that you don’t have to rely on another person to help you preparing / making meals. (although this example is useful bear in mind that it could lead to your care funding being reduced if social services decided the food processor meant you didn’t need any other support)


You could argue that, as a visually impaired person, you need a large print crossword book, which costs more than a regular crossword book. The difference in price would be the disability related expenditure.


A lot of councils will not take transport cost into account because they can’t take the mobility component into account – but if you can demonstrate that your full mobility component goes on the hire of your vehicle, then you can argue that fuel costs are a disability related expenditure as there is no other suitable alternative transport.


There are definitely many expenses that people don’t even think of, or expenses that people find hard to justify to the council – so giving a list of expenditure with reasons why they are “disability related” can often swing it.


And here are some list


Disability related expenditure list

Wheelchair insurance

Community Alarm Electric and gas 30 % ( Heating, Laundry due to arthritis/pain/health)


Electrical Gadgets – all of which use more electricity then non-disabled people would need to use

Recliner chair

Mobile – needed for safety reasons

Computer/Broadband – social/voluntary activities /computer equipment (mouse/dropped regularly and needing replacement)


Stair lifts

Door opener/Intercom/remote control door opener

Two Closimat toilets

Wheel chair charging

Mobile phone charges

Adapted Car – use extra diesel for adaptations i.e. ramp, drivers seat, door openers

Health insurance


Replacement Equipment aids Costs
Heat pads

Hot water bottles



Lap Trays – activities/meals/computer


Special mattress


Wheel chair covers

Tens Machine – Batteries & Pad


PA Costs

– Hand wash

– Alcohol gel

– Toilet roll

– Hot water

– Kettle

– Drinks

– Protective/medical gloves and aprons

– Transport costs in order to escort on public transport

– Breakages

– Holiday costs of taking PA as well – 1 week allowed


 Live in Carer potential costs

New Carpet

Electric costs

Gas costs






Travel to GP, Nurse and hospital appointments

– Neurology

– Eye Clinic

– Euro gynaecology

– Pain clinic

– Operations

– Chiropody


– Antiseptic Creams


General Outgoings



TV costs

Shopping – internet deliveries (again be careful with this as social services may say you don’t need care to go shopping and point out you need someone to put food away for you anytime within a 2 hour delivery slot).

Food costs and dietary needs including more frequent small meals or meals which may need to be left for people to reheat.

Extra costs of things like clothes and shoes – the difference between cheap ones -from-primark and something-which-actually-works.

Extra washing powder, more expensive washing powders or fabric softeners.

Pet insurance if an assistance dog

Rent above levels paid in benefits

Mortgage payments if property is larger than a non-disabled person would need. ie. room needed for PA or equipment storage

Water rates

Household insurance for appliances relating to impairment

Servicing of any aids or equipment

Wheelchair insurance



Having to put money aside for future needs eg. repairs to equipment, deposit for Motability vehicle etc ( look at last 2-3 years ).


There is advice on the Age UK website, of which this is an extract:

Taking disability-related expenditure into account

If the local authority decides to take into account your disability-related benefits, it must also take into account your disability-related expenditure in the means test.

This is confirmed in Annex C of the statutory guidance where it is stated that you should be allowed to keep enough benefit to pay for necessary disability related expenditure to meet any needs that are not being met by the local authority. A similar requirement is made in the charging regulations.


Some local authorities disregard set amounts to take account of disability- related expenditure partly to avoid having to ask questions that might be considered intrusive. The amount that is disregarded varies from authority to authority. However if you consider your disability related costs are greater than this set amount you can ask for a full assessment of your costs.


The statutory guidance provides an indicative list of disability-related expenditure examples. It is not possible for the list to be comprehensive as it will vary from person to person. When being assessed to see how much you can pay, you should consider everything you have to buy because of your disability. This could, for example, include:


lextra washing, or special washing power and conditioner for delicate skin;

lcommunity alarms (pendant or wrist);
lspecial diet;
lspecial clothing or footwear (or extra wear and tear);

ladditional bedding;
lextra heating costs;
lhousehold maintenance (if you would normally have done it yourself);

lany cleaning (if not part of your care plan);

linternet access;
lany care that social services do not meet;
lbuying and maintaining disability-related equipment; or

Factsheet 46lApril 2015
Paying for care and support at home

22 of 48

lany transport costs (both for essential visits to the doctor or hospital, but also to keep up social contacts).


It can be difficult to prove you have extra costs if you have not actually incurred those expenses, for example, if you have not put the heating on for fear of large bills, or are not following a special diet because of the cost. Local authorities should work out an amount considered to be normal expenditure on heating, for example, for your area and type of housing to assist them in their response to if you claim disability-related expenditure in this context, or what you would spend if you weren’t avoiding it out of fear of high expenditure.


There may be other costs that should be accepted.

The courts have confirmed that local authorities should not be inflexible but should always consider individual circumstances. For example, an authority should not adopt a blanket policy of refusing to acknowledge any payments made to close relatives, as there may exceptional reasons for a particular arrangement. In one case the local authority was criticised for not properly carrying out an assessment of the person’s disability related expenditure by doing a home visit, and for rejecting some items of expenditure such as swimming lessons and paying the carer to accompany him on holiday. Such costs should be considered if they are reasonable expenditure needed for independent living.’2

Additional suggestions

communication aid configuration, mounting , unmounting and charging up

private therapies including massage for either pain relief or anxiety

Dressings for self injury and extra water (OCD)

ready meals when unable to cook

pets – insurance and food – for acompanionship and to feel safe.




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 Posted by at 21:04

  13 Responses to “Disability Related Expenses – what could you claim for?”

  1. Easy to follow, readable…heck I had to leave a commment!

  2. Extra continance pads as I only get 2.8 a day

  3. I have a social care Direct Payment for help in home and to employ a PA and also recently a NHS Personal Health Budget (pilot) for health needs, currently in process of being changed (fingers crossed) into a NHS CHC – continuing health care PHB. Many of the things listed above are not MY disability related expenditure as they are paid for out of the money I hold for my care – so DP pays for PAs tickets, drinks, hand wash, mileage etc and NHS PHB pays for podiatry, osteopath, skin care (medical) etc. The costs of employing people are also jointly met by DP and PHB – such as protective clothing (under Health and Safety at Work Act) insurance of mobility vehicles such as wheelchair, employer’s liability insurance, and printing postage stationery (letters, payroll) internet access, PA time for helping me with admin and banking for DP and PHB budgets.
    None of this was easy – I had to explain to the budget deciders (social workers etc) then fight and quote legislation to get this expenses included in the budgets they give me to employ people for my social care and medical health needs.
    As always, fighting the good fight.

  4. Thank you for this comprehensive list.

    All I can say is ‘good luck with that’ if you live in North Staffordshire. I didn’t have to contribute towards my care until I finished work (never understood that one as you’re obviously earning more when working than you receive in benefits). After a reassesment of my care (by someone who by the way wasn’t qualified to do so), I suddenly was expected to find over £3000 out of benefits towards my care. They did not ask me any of the above with regard to the disregards. The assessor did say that the things that I would have to fund privately now, like transport, I could ask for a financial reassessment and I should have been able to put those costs against my own contribution.

    I waited until the bedroom tax was implemented and then asked for a financial reassessment. My bedroom tax alone was £24 per week. I also had the extra costs that were removed from my care plan like shopping, transport and cleaning. Although the assessor did include things I hadn’t thought of, some of which are above, at the end of the assessment all he was willing to reduce my contribution by was £17!!!! That didn’t even cover my rent.

    I told him that my transport had been an assessed need and so those costs should have been included, my rent also. I explained how much more heat I was using by being at home. He just shrugged and smirked, knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, especially as no social worker was involved at ANY stage to help me.

    In order to be able to pay transport costs to see family and other things (it costs me £10 just one way to see any family member), I had to cut back on things like cleaning, ironing, and gardening; just occasional now. I have to wait for the odd couple of hours in one month that I might be able to wash dishes or use the hoover. It is awful to have to sit in a dirty home.

    I’m dreading the next financial assessment. I asked the assessor for a copy of the allowable costs and he absolutely refused. He said it was of no point as the council are always changing what is allowed. It’s hard to be assertive of your rights when you’re so ill all of the time, and I didn’t know who to turn to for help, so I let it go. I was so ill at the time I just couldn’t go through even more stress.

    Thanks again for this piece however, it is most enlightening!

    • Two types of people gravitate to ‘care’, those who are very caring and those who enjoy watching people suffer. If you are trying to negotiate your care package with a sadist then your best option is to cut them out of the loop any way you can.

  5. Hi, I have just lost my job and my PIP (was receiving PIP for chronic conditions, my partner reapplied for it on my behalf as I suffered a head injury, they wrote back and said I was obviously better, so didn’t need PIP at all. The head injury is also why I lost my job of nearly 8 years), so we have lost £1200 a month in total, and have 4 children. I was wondering how would I go about applying for any of the above? Because right now, any financial help would be very good. Thanks in advance xx

  6. There seems to be a glaring omission – a car! As people without disabilities can use public transport – buses, trains that involve walking to/from bus stop or station plus standing to wait without seats or shelter, then how can a car NOT be treated as a mobility aid requiring extra expenditure?
    Just because able bodied people are lazy and mostly use cars, does not make a car any less necessary for those with mobility problems.

  7. Some of my disability-related expenditure goes on assistance and taxis, but the biggest part of it goes on treatments and alternative medicines which I need, in the absence of effective NHS treatment, to enable myself to have some sort of quality of life, albeit at a low level. Perhaps its not disability-related expenditure in the same way as a new wheelchair but I lean on those treatments like crutches. If one or more are taken away (because I can’t afford to pay for them) then I fall. If more than a few go I would be unable to get out of bed – and only a very high level of personal assistance would ameliorate the problem, and even then only a bit.

  8. Hi Linda

    Excellent article.

    Age UK have only recently update their fact sheet and what concerns me is the bit about authorities using a set percentage for DRE ours is planning on doing this at 10% of DLA/Aa

    However I question the legality of this because the regulations clearly state if they take into account disability benefits they must to a full personal financial assessment. Which means all income and expenditure should be taken into account.

    Is there anyway you could ask someone to have a look at it?

    The concern being that many will have no idea of their rights on DRE and so will not have a clue and will just have 10% allowed which is not much of DRE/AA.

  9. Thanks for this, the age concern document is very good a relevant whatever your age. I got awarded direct payments last summer and they started in October. Then due to the changes Filled out a new financial declaration in December. I have not been told of any changes/ if they’ll be changes to what I recieve. I did claim for tv, internet etc and also for my dogs insurance, food, jabs etc who has been trained by an assistance charity but not to full assistance status due to the local trainer retiring and there being no replacement. I rely on him for a lot of help picking things up. My main gripe with the process is they have been as shady as they can with regard to what income has been used for the assessment and what they take into account. I will make sure in future that I request a full disclosure of what income and what expenses of mine they take into account.

  10. Mental health:

    A lot of people use DLA to live/pay bills but extra costs are different for different individuals – but things like needing to replace appliances, clothes more frequently as a direct result of living with mental distress. Costs associated with living more expensively because of distress ie throwing out contaminated food. Costs associated with coping with the side effects of medication, memory issues, weight, personal hygiene. Ready meals when can’t cope with cooking.Help with cleaning/food shopping/prep. Cost of computer/ internet, as can be only means to shop and socialise.Taxis/car for transport ie social phobia/unable to use public transport.Things like massage get laughed at but it helps with anxiety or depression/psychosis induced immobility. Social activity and/or being accompanied.Private therapy as many now have to do this because CMHT’s have had mass discharges & there’s no support or more has to be paid for. Advocacy with appts, speaking with bureaucracies. Needing reassurance/prompting with anything. Support with actual aspects of mental distress. Extra heating/lighting costs from being housebound. Dressings for self-injury, extra water with OCD. Pets, companionship and to feel safer. Exercise.

  11. Really useful. thank you for sharing.

    Just a couple of extra things under PAs:
    Insurance for PAs
    Training for PAs
    Supervision of PAs
    Costs for PAs to go on training.
    Emergency cover
    Conference attendance/training event attendance
    Extra costs incurred on days out (eg food for PA, ticket to get in)

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