Do you want to learn how to challenge Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) decisions?

Do you want to learn more about charging law – and actually apply it to real people’s charges, under supervision?

We’re launching a campaign to improve the Disability Related Expenditure part of councils’ care charging policies, nationwide … and get some money back for hundreds of people, in the meantime.

Charging law is changing, and councils will be getting ready for the introduction of the care costs cap, and the first increase in the Minimum Income Guarantee allowed before charges, for years.

Charging Policies all have a Disability Related Expenditure disregard section.

Asserting DRE, properly, means that a social care budget or package can end up being far better value for people in need. Some councils allow nothing – not without receipts and strenuous effort, that is – whilst others allow £40 off of your DLA or PIP, as standard!

We’re inviting people to get some training on charging law and how to challenge DRE policies and individual decisions, from CASCAIDr’s Belinda Schwehr.

Unusually, the course comes together with some optional practical, mutually beneficial working practice – and the chance to be repaid most of the Course Fee back, whilst improving your skills and confidence. 

CASCAIDr has a guaranteed supply of clients who need support to get their Financial Assessments reviewed for DRE purposes, and this cohort of people’s cases will provide actual experience of applying what you’ve learned, before you do it for your own family, friends, or your service’s appointeeship clients.

The course consists of 4 sessions, online, 2 hours each – on 26 April / 10 and 17 May / 7 June 2022 – with examples and template letters included. Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm, avoiding Easter and Bank Holiday weeks. 8 hours in all. Certificates for those who pass an online multi-choice follow-up exercise.

It costs £100 per person – and you can pay via card or Paypal – and an organisation or a peer support group can pay for you.

Here’s some feedback about this offer, from a student currently attending CASCAIDr’s Legal Framework course, (nb running again in September 2022):

…this is incredibly good value. We’ve seen the depth you go into for what I thought would be a ‘light touch’ overview course, so I’d expect this new project would be the campaign equivalent of a scud missile….

In these days of ‘free’ briefings that often turn out to be just more marketing, here’s the incentive to pay for this in-depth sort of education and supervised skills-based practise:

CASCAIDr will give you £75 of the fee back, in £15 chunks, each time anyone who passes our follow-up online exercise after the course, processes a DRE review for a person whose charges we need to challenge (up to 5 cases per person) – under supervision.

This means that you have an incentive to study hard; you get to practise the skills you’ve learned, and you can apply the knowledge acquired, ultimately, for a very small fee indeed.

You will be a volunteer if you choose to go on to do that for us, and covered by our insurance. We’ll be choosing to give you the money back because of your proving to us that you’ve actually learned something, so the reimbursement will not be a payment for services.

If you find you like helping people in this way, you can continue formally, afterwards, and earn money from us, on a contractor basis, or just use the skill and knowledge, to further your own career.

AND whether or not you take up that reimbursement option, you keep the knowledge and the materials, in order to spread the word around your own community.

Applying for the course:

We want to ensure the places are put to best use, and we can’t afford to make this course merely a matter of paying, and then just hoping that the session recordings make sense to you, and spreading the materials around the country.

The course is bound to be popular and there are limited spaces available, so that we can be sure to have time for people’s questions in the sessions.

We’re interested in your experience of studying serious stuff, and whether your current commitments (personal or professional), make your full and active participation on this course a realistic prospect (even if say, one of the Tuesday evening dates doesn’t suit your calendar).

So, in order to apply for this course, please just email us on pamelahoyer@cascaidr.org.uk explaining how you think that you will be able to use the skills you learn from the course and how you will demonstrate the attention to detail and the judgement required, to make this campaign work.

Please try to tell us about all of that, and 

  • the highest level at which you’ve previously studied e.g. school (GCSEs/A levels), Further Education or Higher Education (a degree). 
  • what you think of your own comprehension of written material, your self-directed study skills, your writing skills and your judgement.
  • whether you have a disability or a condition that would require reasonable adjustments in the delivery of the course, as we want to include as many people with lived experience of paying for their care services, as possible.

Lastly, if you can’t afford the course, upfront, but think you can confidently promise to do 5 cases to a reasonable standard, after full participation on the course, then do email us to ask for a CASCAIDr Hardship Funded Place, please, to pamelahoyer@cascaidr.org.uk

Comments

  1. I have had to sign & pay for a debts releaf order & go bankrupt because the local council where I live said if I don’t pay them £700 a month for my care that I now owe them £1500 , since my son left college, my money was cut off barring my pip they said I could live on that, or get a lorger in on the quite kick my son out ,then I said so you are telling how to cheat, he said I didn’t say that,but he did. I got my esa back but they took my sdp from my esa, they told me well your son lives at home, get it from him. What so they can take more off me . I asked & asked for help but got nowhere, they also told me your luck you get anything. & you can live off your pip. I told them most of the pip goes to paying on the government scheme for my powerchair as I can’t walk, the rest goes to bills & stuff for my 20 medical disabled conditions, I have felt suicidal & said I will drive my powerchair into the local lake then I’m not a burden anymore, I’m not get any help anymore from anywhere, I had to go to a food bank which I can use six times a year, it’s nice to know I can eat 6 times a year because my normal benefits only just cover the bills, & concil tax, I eat once a day, I can’t afford milk so have to use milk mate, or just drink water. I cried when I went to the food back & I have never felt so ashamed of being a disabled woman in a powerchair. The local council social care people said that they can tell me what to do with all my money that they will give me spends & take all the money I get ,by benefits and the pip for my care. I said what about my bills they said not there properly I said what about my food it was the same answer. It’s been about a year nearly without any care. I’m really at the end I always try to put a smile on my face & others but inside I feel very ashamed & very alone in a world that doesn’t care about the likes of me. Lisa Gooch

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