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Adult Social Care Finance Return (ASC-FR) - additional guidance 2020-21

Capturing COVID-19 related costs v1.0


We are expecting all adult social care COVID-related costs to be captured in ASC-FR. Whilst separate lines have been added to the RO return for new COVID associated categories, these cannot be added to the ASC-FR data collection at short notice due to the associated timescales required by the change process.

Free-format comment boxes, and additional questions on the sign off sheet, are available for you to add additional context around how your data submission has been impacted by the pandemic.


Existing ASC-FR guidance references particular grants however does not provide advice in general terms on how government grants should be captured.

For new COVID-related funding, for consistency with the RO net current expenditure metric, we advise that the ASC expenditure is included but that no government grants are netted off. This means that the grants would not be classed as Income, but the associated expenditure would be recorded. Those new grants recognised as Specific and Special Grants can be captured as such, in the existing cell, L56 on the Non SALT Totals tab, highlighted in yellow in Figure 1. 

Image of table displaying specific and special grants on the short and long term tables tab.

If any of these costs are recorded against the client/a particular PSR, please capture the associated expenditure as usual. However, we recognise that in many instances, such costs will not be recorded against a client as the support is covid-specific, rather than for an individual, and so these should be recorded against commissioning and service delivery. This will ensure that costs without associated activity do not inadvertently affect your calculated unit costs.

A variety of grants were made available during the pandemic however grants and associated expenditure should only be captured in the return where this was to support adult social care needs (not more general support) – please get in touch if you are unsure.

Other costs

Hospital discharges

As advised in the SALT guidance

It was agreed with DHSC that activity funded under COVID hospital discharge arrangements should be captured in SALT, so long as it meets the definition of care provided under the Care Act and is being commissioned by the LA

As such, expenditure on hospital discharges funded under these COVID-19 arrangements should be recorded in ASC-FR with the associated income captured as Income from NHS. If you have been unable to capture these clients on your system, there is a comments box on the sign-off sheet to advise us, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Recording hospital discharge comments on the Sign Off sheet

Image of the hospital discharge comments on the sign off sheet.

We would like to take this opportunity to align our guidance on ILF with that in RO3: as with other government grants on adult social care spend, please now record the ILF grant under Specific and Special Grants and the expenditure against the appropriate delivery line. The existing guidance document will also be revised accordingly.

Queries not covered here

We recognise that there is not likely to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to how COVID-related costs have been recorded locally. As such, as new queries are raised by local authorities, we will add to this document.

If you have any queries, or would like further clarification on any aspect of the data collection, please contact us at

Last edited: 12 July 2021 9:33 am