The ISI believes that you are entitled to a reasonable standard of living while you address your debt problem. If you tackle your debt using one of the ISI’s solutions, there is a reasonable standard of living that you are entitled to. The RLEs cover the costs of this standard and includes housing, utilities, food, transport and other needs. They help to determine if you are eligible to apply for a DRN and help PIPs to determine the level of spare income available for your creditors.
You are entitled to a reasonable standard of living for the duration of your arrangement. This means a higher standard than merely living at a subsistence level, which people often exist on when in debt. You will not be told how you should spend your allocated reasonable living expenses, so you are still in complete control of your spending. The RLE set a standard that has been accepted by creditor and debtor groups. The RLEs ensure that you have enough money to be able to participate in the community. Your AI or PIP will go through all of this with you.
Special circumstances cover instances where your family may have higher than normal expenditure due to a variety of reasons. This can include the care of an elderly relative who is financially dependent or a college-going child. It can also be utilised if you or your dependants have a requirement for additional medical costs or equipment or if you have more than six children. Normal everyday items should not be included in this category.