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Newsletter for Disability Organisations May 2005

This newsletter is designed to keep you up to date with developments at the Independent Living Funds. If you have any comments or ideas about what you would like to see in future issues, please get in touch with Jon Duckworth, User Service Manager. Contact details are on the back page. The newsletter is available in Braille or audio formats upon request.

What’s New

Thank you to everyone who filled in and returned the questionnaire that was sent out with the August 2004 edition of the newsletter. This has helped us identify the kind of things you want to know about the ILF - some of which are included in this issue.

People who responded said they would like more information about what ILF payments can be used for, and about the application process. They also wanted to be kept up to date about policy changes and other developments at the ILF.

Hopefully, you will find this “new look” newsletter useful. Don’t forget to contact me with ideas for features and articles that you would like to see in future editions.

Jon Duckworth
User Service Manager

Applying To The Independent Living Funds - A Guide

A person can apply to the ILF if:

  • They are 16 to 65 years old
  • Receive Higher Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance (or Attendance Allowance)
  • Receive at least £200 per week in services or Direct Payments from the Local Authority Social Services
  • They (and their partner) have capital or savings of less than £18,500
  • They are expected to live independently in the community for at least the next 6 months
  • They are a UK resident.

The ILF provides a direct payment to a person which enables them to pay for personal and/or domestic care from an agency or personal assistant.

Application Process
by Lesley Berry

When an application is made to the Fund we aim to respond as soon as possible. The current average clearance rate is approximately 12 weeks. There are a series of processes that we follow before we offer funding towards the ‘actual cost’ of personal and domestic care. They are as follows:

  • Check eligibility.
  • Instruct our Assessor to visit the Applicant with their Social Worker to obtain details of their additional care need and care costs. At the same time we: Obtain Financial Information from Applicant. Obtain Financial Information from Social Services regarding their care package costings.
  • Assessor compiles a Report and sends that to Nottingham.
  • Analyse Report, Applicant’s Financial Information and Social Services Financial Information. Obtain any outstanding information.
  • Make decision regarding possible funding available.
  • Post out an offer of funding, detailing how decision was made.
  • Wait for acceptance forms to be returned from Applicant and Social Worker.

At each one of these stages delays can occur which would then lengthen the application process. If you could advise potential applicants of the importance of returning paperwork to us as quickly as possible it may speed up the process. Support and advice can be given at any stage during the application process by contacting the Nottingham office.

What Can ILF Funding Be Used For?
by Matthew Harrison

The Independent Living Fund exists to help people meet the cost of agency care or personal assistants (PAs). If an individual decides to employ a PA the Fund is able to cover the cost of their wages. In addition the ILF can also pay towards some on-costs associated with becoming an employer.

  • Payroll - The ILF can pay up to £10 per week inclusive of the award to enable the Fund user to engage a payroll service.
  • Holidays - The ILF is able to pay towards the cost of care that a person needs when on holiday, but not the cost of travel or accommodation. Fund users who would like to go on holiday should contact their ILF caseworker, preferably with the dates, and an estimate of the number of hours of care that would be required.
  • Advertisements for (PAs) - Fund users can place an advert wherever they feel is appropriate e.g. local press. If there is a charge the Fund user should send the receipt/invoice and we can consider reimbursement (maximum weekly limits apply).
  • Employers National Insurance - the ILF can consider payments to cover the cost of Employers National Insurance contributions.
  • Holiday Pay - Each PA is entitled to 4 weeks holiday pay. The ILF is able to include the cost of holiday pay as an averaged amount in the Fund user’s award.
  • Employer Liability Insurance - the ILF can consider paying Employer Liability Insurance; the Fund user should send a receipt/invoice to their caseworker who will consider reimbursement (maximum weekly limits apply).

Costs that CANNOT be covered by the ILF include:

  • Care provided by a close relative
    living in the same house as the
    Fund user
  • Adaptations to property
  • Equipment, furniture or clothing
  • Taxi fares, travel expenses
  • Hydro/physio/aromatherapy

We Need You!
by Jon Duckworth

Over the last year the ILF has been consulting with users to find out what they think of the service. One of the ways we have been doing this is through the “roadshows” - which have proved very popular. So far we have visited Glasgow, Exeter and Leicester and we are likely to be staging more of these events later this year. Indeed we may be coming to an area near you. Visit our website for details of upcoming events.

Work is currently being done to improve and expand upon our range of information leaflets, especially with a view to having translated information, leaflets that are accessible for people with learning disabilties, and exploring the possibilities of audio and visual formats.

There may be times when the ILF would like to put together focus groups to look at work we have done or to consider a variety of issues and help us develop our service.

If your organisation would like to be involved in future consultation please let me know. Contact details are given over the page.

Independent Living Funds Website
by Jon Duckworth

The ILF website contains a lot of information which may be of use to people who are considering applying, and for advocates who support people through the application process.

The new improved website will be launched very soon. Check for details.

One of the things we want to expand is our “Links” page. We think it is valuable for visitors to the ILF website to be able to find out about other organisations and services. We also know from research we have done that a lot of people learn about benefits and services from the internet.

Please get in touch with me if your organisation would like a link from our website to yours and if you will return the favour by making a link to the ILF website.

Picture Perfect
by Jon Duckworth

The ILF recently worked with a community artist and a group of adults with learning disabilities to produce a mural for its reception area based on the idea of independent living and what it means to people.

The mural has been so well received that we want to brighten up the office even more with artwork.

If anyone is involved (or would like to get involved) in an art project and would work alongside the ILF to produce artwork relating to the theme of disability and independent living we would like to hear from you. Contact me on the details given below.

Contact Us

The Independent Living Funds
PO Box 7525

By telephone: (0845) 601 8815
By fax: (0115) 945 0945 or (0115) 945 0946
Textphone (for textphone users only): (0845) 601 8816

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