Costs that you may have to pay

Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) which are costs that you may have to pay because of illness or disability, and which we may be able to set against your assessed financial contribution.

It is a supplement to our page on paying for care at home which explains how we work out what (if anything) you should contribute to the cost of the services we provide you with to help you to stay living in your own home in the community.

What is Disability Related Expenditure?

If you receive (or are entitled to receive) state disability benefits that we have counted in your assessed income, we may offset against that income any extra costs you have because of illness or disability; these are known as Disability Related Expenditure (DRE).

Unless we have assessed you as not having to pay a contribution to your service at all, if we allow any such costs, this may reduce the financial contribution you have been assessed to pay. These costs could be;

  • increased use of everyday items and services: you may have to use things more because of your disability, such as a community alarm or heating;
  • specialist items and services: you may require things specially made to help with disability, such as specialist home equipment;
  • Higher cost everyday items: you may have to use things that cost more than usual such as food for a medically required diet.

The DRE Fixed sum

If you receive (or are entitled to receive) a relevant Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) disability benefit, we have decided we will automatically give a fixed sum for basic DRE costs against these benefits.

This ensures that people who are reluctant to claim do not miss out, and that we do not have to ask personal questions about your disability or medical conditions, or ask you to provide documentary evidence and receipts for smaller amounts of these extra expenses. To make sure this webpage does not get out of date, the values of the fixed sums are shown on our Fees Costs and Allowances document.

The fixed sum is given automatically to qualifying people when we carry out the financial assessment – you do not have to ask for it. However, at any time you can ask us for an individually assessed DRE sum instead, either if you think your own disability related costs are more than the fixed sum, or because we have not given you a fixed sum at all.

As with DRE expenses themselves, the DRE fixed sum is an allowance against your income. If you do not pay a contribution at all because you do not have any disposable income, it does not benefit you.

For more information on DREs and what costs we may or may not allow, please see our factsheet Disability Related Expenditure - ASC factsheet 7.

What if I think a mistake has been made?

If you think a mistake has been made in what we have allowed you for DRE costs, please contact us in the Community Care Business Unit (as below); we will review the calculation to make sure that no mistakes have been made. If you still don't agree you can go to an appeal.

Contacts and more information

Financial Assessments and Contributions;

Community Care Business Unit: email:

Call: 07341 682547 or

07887 826455 or

07887 893539 or

07766 780242

General adult social care enquiries

Contact Sandwell Enquiry. Email:
Call: 0121 569 2266.

More information

Get independent advice from:

  • Citizen's Advice 0121 500 2703
  • POhWER 0300 456 2370