Independent Living Fund Changes

By: A.C.

Complex legislation is always difficult to get a handle on. The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is a prime example of uncertainty, and fear all mixed into one for those clients who are in receipt of this payment.

The ILF was closed to new claimants in 2010, and current users will continue to receive payments until 30 June 2015.

The Independent Living Fund is a discretionary fund which was set up by the UK Government to fund those severely disabled people with substantial needs, who could be assisted to live in the community, rather than in care. Disability Rights UK gives a short list on entitlement.

“ILF is for those currently receiving the funding who:
• receive the high care component of Disability Living Allowance
• have less than £23,250 in savings or capital
• are in receipt of social services funding worth at least £340 a week
• are living in the UK for at least 26 weeks a year”

That article explains the situation generally for the UK, but Scotland has differences in how the new fund will be managed.

Back in April 2014, The Scottish Government released a statement outlining the differences:

“The Scottish Government’s SILF will come into effect in July 2015, subject to the full allocation of funding being devolved to the Scottish Government.

Unlike England, where the responsibility for the ILF will be devolved to local authorities, the Scottish Government will develop a national system run by the third sector.

The budget for SILF will be made up of the transfer of the current funding levels alongside the Scottish Government’s £5.5 million investment.Individuals are referred to the fund via local authority social services.”

Since that press release there has been much happening at Governmental level to set up a national system. The Scottish Government recently issued this progress report

“The Scottish Government have committed to protecting users’ current awards in Scotland as long as they remain eligible, and are developing a national system along with voluntary organisations to support existing users from July 1, 2015.”

The report goes on to outline what work has already been done. If you want more information about the progress that is being made towards setting up the Scottish Independent living fund, details are available via the link above.

As always, advice and guidance is available via the office.

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