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
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
Mobile – needed for safety reasons
Computer/Broadband – social/voluntary activities /computer equipment (mouse/dropped regularly and needing replacement)
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
Replacement Equipment aids Costs
Hot water bottles
Lap Trays – activities/meals/computer
Wheel chair covers
Tens Machine – Batteries & Pad
– Hand wash
– Alcohol gel
– Toilet roll
– Hot water
– Protective/medical gloves and aprons
– Transport costs in order to escort on public transport
– Holiday costs of taking PA as well – 1 week allowed
Live in Carer potential costs
Travel to GP, Nurse and hospital appointments
– Eye Clinic
– Euro gynaecology
– Pain clinic
– Antiseptic Creams
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
Household insurance for appliances relating to impairment
Servicing of any aids or equipment
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 clothing or footwear (or extra wear and tear);
lextra heating costs;
lhousehold maintenance (if you would normally have done it yourself);
lany cleaning (if not part of your care plan);
lany care that social services do not meet;
lbuying and maintaining disability-related equipment; or
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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
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.