Appendix C: Disability Related Expenditure Guide


Part of the Care and Support Charging and Financial Assessment Framework

If you receive Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance an allowance is made in your non-residential financial assessment for additional expenses due to disability or medical condition. 

We apply a standard allowance of £10.85 per week unless you ask us for a full assessment of your disability-related expenses.

Disability-related expenses are considered when:

  • the extra cost is needed to meet your specific need due to a medical condition or disability, as identified in your care and support assessment of needs; and
  • the cost is reasonable and can be verified; and
  • it is not reasonable for a lower cost or free alternative item or service to be used.  If a lower cost alternative item or service could have been used, the expense considered will be the lower cost

This guide sets out our usual standard or maximum allowances for a full assessment of disability-related expenses.

  • If you have one or more of the expenses listed we will usually allow the actual amount you spend up to the maximum amount indicated. We will only consider a higher allowance in exceptional circumstances.
  • Costs for disability related services that support the whole household (like a cleaner) will be treated as shared equally between all adults in the household (unless you have a good reason for us to consider a different way of sharing costs).
  • Where a service is made up of different elements we will only consider costs for the part(s) that meet a disability-related need. Hairdressing is a good example – we will allow a claim for the cost of washing your hair if your disability prevents you doing this yourself, but not the cost of cutting/styling as most people pay for this. 
  • You must provide bills, invoices and statements to support your assessment. If you don’t, we will use our discretion to decide if the expenses meet the criteria above.
  • Allowances for special equipment needed due to a disability or condition will be based on the life span of the equipment and either the purchase price you paid or a lower cost alternative if we believe that would be reasonable to meet your identified needs. 
Disability-related expense itemAmount considered in assessmentEvidence required
Community Alarm System Actual cost paid unless included in Housing Benefit award Bills/bank statements
Privately-arranged registered[1] care services and medical treatments/therapies – if it is part of the agreed care and support and council-arranged support is reduced accordingly Actual cost paid up to a maximum of £1,676 per year (average £32.25 per week) Bills/receipts from provider    
Private domestic help[2] – where Social Care Assessment confirms this is necessary due to disability and isn’t provided through Council-arranged support.  Actual cost paid up to £24.25 per week for single person household or cost proportionately divided by the number of other adult household members.    Bills/receipts from provider for at least 4 weeks
Additional laundry and replacement bedding costs (where more than 4 loads washing/week needed due to incontinence or other disability-related or medical reason) An amount of £4.85 per week. Assessment confirms need
Additional cost of specialist dietary items required due to  confirmed[3] medical condition or disability Actual cost paid for specific dietary items purchased due to illness or disability  Details and receipts of specialist dietary purchases
Essential equipment purchased due to disability/condition to support independent living at home (if not supplied free of charge, through Adult Care or Health, and not supplied through a Disabled Facilities Grant) Manual wheelchair – actual cost paid divided by 250 up to a maximum of £1.35 per week  

Powered wheelchair or mobility scooter – actual cost paid divided by 500 up to a maximum of £6.61 per week

Powered riser/recliner chair – actual cost paid divided by 500 up to a maximum of £4.36 per week

Other essential equipment :
1 – Item costing £1,000 or more – actual cost paid, divided by 500[4]

2 – Equipment costing £100 – £1000  – actual cost paid divided by 250[5]

3 – Equipment costing less than £100 –  actual cost paid divided by 52 weeks

Other equipment may include stair lift, powered bed, turning bed,  mobility equipment[6]. 
Evidence of purchase (bill, receipt)
In cases of doubt, social care worker or Occupational Therapist to confirm purchase is an essential requirement
Essential equipment maintenance/repair (if not maintained by social services)Actual cost of maintaining equipment – costs would be relevant to the items listed above Bills/receipts from provider, bank statements, or maintenance contract showing cost.
Specialist clothing and footwear and replacements due to wear and tearExpenditure on footwear over £45 per pair of specialist shoes (averaged over 1 year).
For specialist clothing and frequent replacements – up to £8.40 per week – if good reason.
Additional heating AllowanceActual gas and electricity paid, averaged over one year, minus the annual average amounts [7].

Annual Average fuel amounts:
Flat/Terrace – single occupancy – £2,130
Flat/Terrace – couple/shared occupancy – £2,810
Semi-detached – single occupancy – £2,260
Semi-detached – couple/shared occupancy: £2,987
Detached – single occupancy £2,752
Detached – couple/shared occupancy £3,631
Bills from Provider
ChiropodyActual cost up to a maximum £360 averaged over one year (equivalent to max £6.95/week), if NHS chiropody not available (based on 6 weekly visits).Receipts or transaction statements or cheque stubs
Travel and transport costs where social services have confirmed need for specialist transport requirements.Actual costs, net of any DLA Mobility received, or PIP Mobility received, if they are incurred solely or mainly due to disability and the needs are identified in the Assessment.
Allow actual commercial costs (if reasonable) up to £28.40/week or more if evidence is provided.
Allow payments to relatives if up to £14.20/week.
Bills/Receipts where applicable
Prescriptions, medical and chemist itemsActual cost if not supplied free through the NHS or the cost of annual season ticket (divided by 52 weeks), whichever is less. Allowed when recommended by a GP or specialist. Receipts / evidence of season ticket
Hair WashingActual cost paid for washing & drying service if can’t do this and it is not part of the care package. Actual average weekly cost up to £8.15 per week.Bills/Receipts
Water Meter ChargesMetered amounts in excess of £532 per year (average annual household bill) [8].Bills
Continence products
(where social care assessment confirms need and
products are not available through the NHS)
Actual cost paid for waterproof under sheet / bed pads

An amount of £12.15 per week for up to six weeks where buying own incontinence pads ahead of an NHS continence assessment.

(Incontinence pads are available through the NHS Continence Service free of charge and will not generally be considered as an ongoing expense)
Other disability related expenses Other specific disability-related expenses may be allowed with good reason and proof of costs. Proof of costs required

[1] Registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

[2] May include cleaning, shopping, domestic tasks, basic garden maintenance (e.g. grass cutting) 

[3] Need confirmed by social services or NHS

[4] Divided by 500 to reflect a 10 year equipment life.  

[5] Divided by 250 to reflect a 5 year equipment life.

[6] mobility equipment cost allowed is net of any DLA/PIP mobility allowance received

[7] Average annual amounts based on good practice guide developed by the National Association of Financial Assessment Officers 2022-23, with 12 months fuel consumer price index (CPI) to November 2023 applied to RBC’s 2023/24 comparison amounts.

[8] Thames Water average annual household bill increase 12.3% from April 2024 applied to RBC’s 2023/24 comparison amount.

Please Note: We won’t consider costs incurred for:

  • General items or services required for daily living and used by the general population
  • Any item or service met by a payment from a Grant (e.g. Disability Facilities Grant) or where another funding source has been provided
Last updated on 04/04/2024