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Disability-related expenses (DRE) - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Disability-related expenses (DRE)

All about money
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
medicines
extra clothing, or
travel.
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:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... d-expenses

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,
Jane
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,
Jane
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.
Henrys Cat wrote:
Sun Feb 13, 2022 10:26 pm
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.
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.
Shaun_2001 wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 7:16 pm
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
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?