Living Cost of having a Disability

“Research shows that the everyday cost of having a disability can be substantial, relative to the cost a non-disabled person would otherwise have to spend in order to meet their physical and social needs. Much of the additional cost arises from how disabled people lead their lives, which is not well recognised by the benefits system. Understanding the true cost of living with a disability is critical for any social support system to ensure that people do not have to live in undue hardship.

With this in mind:

If a person can evidence disability related expenses, do you pay these / subtract them from a person’s care charges?

Disability related expenses are not paid to a person or subtracted from a person’s care charges. Disability related expenditure is a section within the financial assessment for people in receipt of community based adult social care services which confirms how much a person should contribute towards the cost of the services they receive.

Devon County Council’s (DCC) policy is compliant with the national guidance as issued by the Department of Health and will undertake an individual financial assessment based on the financial circumstances of the person. Part of the financial assessment includes a section whereby if a person is in receipt of disability benefits (such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments) deductions can be made for any eligible disability related expenditure. DCC will allow all eligible disability related expenditure within the financial assessment and this is determined by meeting set criteria such as:

  • The item or service cannot be provided by the NHS or other agencies at a lower cost or free
  • Where the item or service is not considered normal expenditure incurred by the general public
  • Where the need for the item or service can be evidenced and is incurred due to the person’s illness or disability
  • Where the cost of the item or service can be evidenced

Do you have a definitive list of what constitutes disability related expenses?

DCC does not have a definitive list as to what constitutes disability related expenditure. DCC will complete an individual assessment of a person’s disability related expenditure and will allow all eligible expenditure within the financial assessment.

If yes to 2 above, please supply the list.


If no to 2 above, can you give examples of what you would consider as disability related expenses, based on what you have paid for in the past.

As indicated in the response to 1 above, DCC does not pay disability related expenses. As indicated in the response to 1 & 2 DCC will complete an individual financial assessment for each person and will allow all eligible (ie- subject to criteria as stated in 1 above) Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) within the financial assessment.

Subject to meeting eligibility criteria examples of DRE’s would be community alarm system, domestic help, special dietary needs and privately arranged personal care services.

Please say if you would pay for any of the following as disability related expenses to enable disabled people to reach a minimal acceptable standard of living:

  • Technological equipment, software and IT training (eg. laptop, mobile phone, screen reader software, etc.) to enable communication, facilitate access to written materials, make the best use of a person’s sight, etc;
  • Domestic help, eg. regular help with cleaning, dealing with particular jobs;
  • Additional travel costs, eg. taxi journeys to medical appointments, visits to dispersed social networks;
  • Additional costs of socialising and going on holiday, eg. companion’s travel costs (without whom a holiday would be impossible), using a hotel rather than self-catering accommodation, etc;
  • Additional cost of household goods, eg. better lighting, floor coverings, paying someone to help with home maintenance, etc;
  • Additional health care costs, eg. increase in the number of prescriptions, purchase of sanitary/hygiene items, etc;
  • Utilities, eg. additional cost of electricity to run technological equipment, additional lighting, etc;
  • Specialist support, eg. sign language interpreters, which is not always considered a ‘reasonable adjustment’ to providing services;
  • Social activities, eg. to combat the risk of social isolation;
  • Anything else?”

As mentioned in response to question 1 above, DCC does not pay for disability related expenditure. The financial assessment procedure and guidance as determined by the Department of Health ensures that all people are left with at least the Minimum Income Guarantee (set nationally and determined by age) plus a further addition of 25%. Therefore, all people are able to meet the minimal acceptable standard of living as laid down by legislation.

The examples you show would all be considered if eligibility was met within the financial assessment process.