The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides money to help disabled people live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care.  The 12 month countdown begins to the end of the ILF

ILF

On 6 March 2014, the Minister of State for Disabled People announced that the ILF would close on 30 June 2015, to ensure that all social care support is delivered through the mainstream system, rather than two separate systems.

This means that, from 1 July 2015, the funding and responsibility of ILF care and support needs will be transferred to local authorities in England and devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ILF have been asked for their thoughts/comments and this is what they had to say:

“Before we close, our main focus is to make sure all our users have a face-to-face visit from one of our independent assessors and an outcome-focussed support plan which shows how we have assessed their care needs.  We hope this plan will help them when talking to their local authority about their future care needs.”

“We appreciate that many of our users are concerned about their future, but we are here until June next year to help support them through the process.  There is also a booklet called ‘Closure of the ILF‘ which is available on our website, which sets out the six stage process which we are following to support users.”

“We have amended our ‘Use of funding’ policy which allows our users to use their funding in a more flexible way and so far quite a few requests have been granted.  For example, we have recently agreed to buy a new chair to provide postural support which will assist one user’s family to support her at home and will help ensure she remains fit and well. Any request for flexible funding needs to be supported by the relevant local authority (LA) and must be met out of the user’s existing funding.”

“We have been working closely with local authorities to help prepare them for the new arrangement and have been undertaking more joint visits to users than ever before.  The most important thing our users need to do is start discussions with their local authority about how they may like to be supported after the closure of the ILF.  If they have no or very little contact with their LA at the moment we strongly suggest that they get in touch with them and ask that they carry out an assessment.  Meeting with the LA will give them the opportunity to talk about their future care package, the possibility of direct payments as well as finding out about their rules and regulations.”

“Before we close, we intend to send all our users information which we think we will helpful for them in the future – things like signposting information.  If any ILF users have any thoughts about what they would like us to send out, please get in touch with our communications team via email to: communications@ilf.gsi.gov.uk.  If ILF users have any queries in the meantime, please contact us in the normal way on tel: 0845 601 8815 or 0115 945 0700.”

We hope this article is useful to any of you that receive ILF funding in pointing you in the right direction for assistance.