INDEPENDENT LIVING FUNDS
QUINQUENNIAL REVIEW 2001 
  

Department for Work and Pensions 
November 2001 
  
CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY........................................................................................................... 1
Recommendations..................................................................................................................... 1
BACKGROUND....................................................................................................................... 4
General...................................................................................................................................... 4
History and remit...................................................................................................................... 4
THE REVIEW............................................................................................................................ 6
DH Review of Home Care Charging Policies................................................................................. 7
Supporting People....................................................................................................................... 7
ORGANISATIONAL ISSUES.................................................................................................... 8
Introduction............................................................................................................................... 8
Alternative methods of provision............................................................................................. 8
Provision by local authorities....................................................................................................... 8
Transfer of functions to another related body............................................................................... 9
Conclusion................................................................................................................................ 9
MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES............................................................ 9
Appointment of Trustees........................................................................................................ 9
Financial Accountability.......................................................................................................... 10
Compliance with Cash Limits..................................................................................................... 10
Administration/Staffing Levels.................................................................................................... 10
Management............................................................................................................................ 11
Review of Cases........................................................................................................................ 11
Appeals procedures.................................................................................................................. 13
Complaints procedures............................................................................................................. 14
Consultation with Users............................................................................................................ 14
Local Authority Awareness......................................................................................................... 14
POLICY ISSUES....................................................................................................................... 15
General....................................................................................................................................  15
Receipt of DLA......................................................................................................................... 16
Age Limits................................................................................................................................ 17
Care by Family Members......................................................................................................... 17
Earnings Rule.......................................................................................................................... 18
Capital Rule............................................................................................................................ 19
Partners’ Income and Savings.................................................................................................. 21
Treatment of State Benefits..................................................................................................... 21
Treatment of Occupational Pensions and pension contributions............................................... 22
Limit on initial packages.......................................................................................................... 23
Maximum Sums payable......................................................................................................... 24
Local Authority contributions.................................................................................................... 24
Long-stay hospital leavers........................................................................................................ 25
Annual Increases in payments................................................................................................. 26
Care Needs and Financial Assessments................................................................................... 27
Employer responsibilities and costs.......................................................................................... 28
CONCLUSIONS................................................................................................................... 29
ANNEX A............................................................................................................................. 31
PROFILE OF CURRENT CLIENTS...................................................................................... 31
ANNEX B............................................................................................................................. 33
LIST OF ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS RESPONDING................................... 33
ANNEX C............................................................................................................................. 35
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS.................................................................................................. 35
ANNEX D............................................................................................................................ 36
SUMMARY OF COMMENTS FROM ILF QUINQUENNIAL REVIEW............................. 36

  


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
i. It is Government policy that all non-departmental public bodies should be regularly reviewed to determine whether their functions are necessary and whether they are organised and managed in such a way as to allow the most efficient and cost-effective delivery of their objectives. 
  
ii. This review was conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) following a public consultation exercise and after consulting with Department of Health, the former Department for Education and Employment, (the relevant part of which is now incorporated within DWP), Department for Social Development Northern Ireland (who themselves liaised with the NI Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety), HM Treasury, the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales, and of course the Trustees and management of the Independent Living Funds (ILFs) themselves. We received over 1,600 responses from ILF clients and 60 responses from other organisations, individuals and Government departments. We also had regard to the DH review of guidance to LAs in England on charging regimes for social care, and to the charging and means-testing proposals made in relation to the Supporting People scheme. 
  
iii. We considered the basis on which the work of the ILFs and how they are sponsored might be undertaken. We reviewed the management and accountability of the Funds, and also looked at all the policies governing the way in which entitlements to ILF awards are determined and paid. 
  
iv. It is clear from the responses to the public consultation, particularly from their clients, that the ILFs are perceived as providing a valuable service. Naturally there are areas where people believe that changes should be made. We believe that the Funds form a vital part of overall Government provision for severely disabled people and that the function should continue. We do though recognise the arguments in favour of greater alignment with LA charging regimes, about incentives to work and encouraging greater independence and support in moving away from Income Support. 
  
v. Our recommendations, set out below, are designed to improve those aspects without a major increase in expenditure which would put us outside our Terms of Reference. However, we believe that the changes we recommend will, if accepted, address many of the issues raised by respondents and represent a significant improvement in ILF provision for disabled people. 
  
Recommendations  
1. We recommend that the ILFs should remain in existence in their current form. 
(para 28) 
  
2. We support the Trustees' view that this is an appropriate time for a review of staffing levels and recommend that the results be used to inform next year’s budget considerations (para 33)   
3. We recommend that where fundamental changes are to be made to a care package, or the level of support provided, at least four weeks notice is given before changes are implemented (para 40) 
  
4. We recommend that no change be made to appeals procedures (Para 45) 
  
5. We recommend that the ILFs investigate the options for increased liaison with DP, Access to Work and Disabled Student Grants schemes (para 51). 
  
6. We recommend that the ILFs should maintain and consolidate their liaison efforts with LA social services departments, but that any national or regional take-up campaigns would be inappropriate (para 53) 
  
7. We recommend that highest rate care component of DLA remains the gateway to ILF assistance to ensure that funding is targeted on the most severely disabled people (para 57) 
  
8. We recommend that there be no change in the provisions relating to care provided by family members (para 64) 
  
9. We recommend that all earnings should be disregarded in ILF assessments (para 68) 
  
10. We recommend that the capital limit be raised to £18,500, with capital between £11,500 and £18,500 attracting an assumed tariff income (para 73) 
  
11. We recommend that the practice of exercising discretion in the treatment of capital intended for imminent major purchases be continued (para 73) 
  
12. We recommend that it be formally laid down that lump sum payments received from the VDP scheme and ex-gratia payments made to former Far East prisoners of war and victims of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease should be disregarded entirely in assessing available capital (para 74) 
  
13. We recommend that partners’ earnings be subject to the full disregard recommended at para 68 in respect of clients’ earnings (para 76).

14. We believe that whether any or all of the DLA care component is taken into account in ILF assessments be considered outside the QR (para 78) 
  
15. We recommend that SDP continue to be taken fully into account in ILF assessments (para 78) 
  
16. If the recommendation at para 68 for the disregard of all earnings is not accepted, we recommend that DPTC and WFTC continue to be included in net pay for ILF purposes (para 78) 
  
17. We recommend that occupational pensions continue to be taken into account (para 79) 
  
18. Unless the recommendation at para 71 for the disregard of all earnings is accepted, we recommend that the whole of contributions to such pensions may be offset against net earnings (para 79) 
  
19. We recommend that a limit on initial package costs be retained (para 83) 
  
20. We recommend that Trustees review the maximum sum figure biennially and, if they feel that an increase in the maximum sums is appropriate, present a case to Ministers (para 85) 
  
21. As a caveat to the increase in the ILF maximum sums we recommend that such increases are only paid where the LA contribution is also raised commensurately (para 88) 
  
22. We recommend that there be no change to the ILF policy of declining to accept applications where the individual is moving direct from a long-stay hospital to independent living (para 91) 
  
23. We recommend that there be no automatic annual increase in individual awards (para 99) 
  
24. We recommend that ILF Management review their forms and notifications to satisfy themselves that the provision for a review of the amount of an award paid is sufficiently made known to clients (para 99) 
  
25. We recommend that the ILFs study the LA/NHS Single Assessment Process procedures to identify whether there is scope to introduce some such procedures in their dealings with some or all LAs (para 102) 
  
26. We recommend that the Trustees and management establish through their contact officer network what LA support is available, with the aim of agreeing to make this available to ILF clients whether or not they are receiving DPs, and review the support offered internally in light of the results (para 104) 
  
27. We recommend that the maximum sum may be exceeded in any week where the annualised total of regular payments plus the additional payments remains within an annualised maximum sum.  We recommend that this flexibility also applies where there is a regular variable package of care or where the client has additional support costs because of going on holiday (para 105) 
  
28. We recommend that ILF provision allow the payment of an appropriate retainer for up to 4 weeks in the event of temporary interruptions of caring (para 106) 
  
29. We recommend that ILF payments in respect of personal assistants may be made for up to 8 weeks after the death of the ILF client (para 107). 
  

BACKGROUND 
General 
1. It is Government policy that all non-departmental public bodies should be regularly reviewed to determine whether their functions are necessary and whether they are organised and managed in such a way as to allow the most efficient and cost-effective delivery of their objectives. 
  
2. This is the first review of the ILFs since they were constituted in their present form in 1993. The review has considered whether there is a need for the work undertaken by the ILFs, if so whether they are the most appropriate way of delivering that work, and whether the way in which it is delivered and the policies under which it is delivered are the most appropriate. 
  
3. The review was conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) following a public consultation exercise and after consulting with Department of Health, the former Department for Education and Employment (the relevant part of which is now incorporated in DWP), Department for Social Development Northern Ireland (in liaison with the NI Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety), HM Treasury, the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales, and of course with the Trustees and management of the ILFs themselves. 
  
History and remit 
4. The original Independent Living Fund was introduced in 1988 as part of the restructuring of the benefit system that saw, inter alia, the end of Supplementary Benefit and its replacement by Income Support, a means-tested benefit with a simpler structure than its predecessor. Included within the Supplementary Benefit system were special domestic assistance allowances for severely disabled people who lived at home rather than being looked after in residential accommodation. These allowances were not carried forward into Income Support. Although the existing beneficiaries, who numbered about 300, were afforded some transitional protection it was recognised that an alternative method of providing help would be required for the future. After discussions with the Disablement Income Group (DIG) it was decided that the ILF should be established as a discretionary charitable trust to provide this help. It would provide financial help towards the costs of care for severely disabled people on low incomes to enable them to live independently in their own homes. 
  
5. The original Fund was given a limited lifespan of five years. At the time it was set up a major national survey of the numbers and circumstances of disabled people had been commissioned from the OPCS, and Sir Roy Griffiths’ report on community care was in preparation. The intention was that before the ILF remit expired there would be a coherent examination of the needs of disabled people. After the publication of the Griffiths Report (‘Caring for People’ Command 849) it was decided that from 1993 the responsibility for financing the care costs of severely disabled people would pass to local authorities. However, it was also decided that due to the success and popularity of the ILF in providing severely disabled people with the opportunity to live in the community the then Government should give a commitment that a fund to support this group would be maintained.

6. In 1993 two new funds were established to take forward the work of the original ILF, the Independent Living (Extension) Fund (“the Extension Fund”) and the new Independent Living (1993) Fund (“the 1993 Fund”). The Extension Fund took forward the commitment to continue payments to existing clients, but did not accept any new claims. At its peak, the original ILF was supporting over 20,000 clients. From a spend of £1.1m in 1988/89 expenditure in 1992/93 rose to £95m.

7. However, in looking at potential new clients it was considered important to harmonise with the newly introduced community care reforms under which primary responsibility for care of all disabled people rested with local authorities. This required the arrangements for the 1993 Fund to have some built-in element of direct involvement with local authorities. This is reflected in the requirement that social services departments must provide cash and/or services to the value of £200 a week before assistance can be provided by the 1993 Fund. 
  
8. Both new funds shared the same Board of Trustees. 
  
9. A successful applicant to the 1993 Fund must meet the following criteria: 
  
- be at least 16 and under 66 years of age; 
- receive the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, or the equivalent rate of Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance; 
- have savings/capital of less than £8,000 (£12,000 if over age 60) which includes savings/capital of a partner, and an income which is insufficient to cover the costs of care needed; 
- be assessed by the local authority as being at risk of entering residential care, or capable of leaving it to live in the community; 
- receive at least £200 worth of services/funding per week from the local authority and be assessed as needing additional care. 
  
10. The caseload of the Extension Fund has gradually reduced since 1993 to 8,232 (at 30 September 2001), while the caseload of the 1993 Fund has grown after a slow start in the early years to 7,486 (at 30 September 2001). About 68 per cent of clients live in England, 17 per cent in Scotland, nine per cent in Wales and six per cent in Northern Ireland. 1993 Fund awards average about £221 a week in Great Britain and £150 a week in Northern Ireland. Extension Fund awards average about £180 a week in Great Britain and £78 a week in Northern Ireland. Annex A provides a profile of current clients. 
  
11. Since 1993 the rules operated by the Funds have remained largely unchanged, although there have been changes to the earnings disregard and to the maximum weekly amounts paid by each fund. The earnings disregard has increased from an initial £15 per week, first to £30 a week and most recently, in January 2000, to £30 plus 45 per cent of the next £170 a week, a maximum disregard of £106.50 a week. The maximum amounts payable since 1993, £300 a week for the 1993 Fund and £560 a week for the Extension Fund, were raised in January 2000 to £375 and £625 a week respectively. 
  
THE REVIEW 
12. Cabinet Office guidance requires that NDPBs and all sponsored bodies, such as the ILFs, be periodically reviewed. The guidance – which is available at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/eeg/2000/review/contents.htm – requires examination of whether the NDPB/supported body is the best way of delivering the required provision and, if so, whether the business is carried out in the most effective and efficient way.

13. The Quinquennial Review of the ILFs was announced by Hugh Bayley, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security on 21 December 2000, in response to a Parliamentary Question. The terms of reference were: 
  
“To consider how the ILFs fit into overall Govt provision in support of independent living for severely disabled people; to consider whether within the broad envelope of available funding the rules and conditions operated by the Funds make reasonable and equitable provision for severely disabled people to live independently; to consider the administration of the Funds; and to make recommendations”

14. In all aspects of the review it is to be borne in mind that since 1993 the primary responsibility for community care rests with LAs. The ILFs complement that provision but are not seen within wider Government policy as substituting for appropriate LA input, although they do provide a valuable incentive to LAs to provide domiciliary care where it might not otherwise be considered. 
  
15. An integral part of the review process is to consult customers, stakeholders and other interested parties. We therefore wrote to outside organisations and individuals with an interest in the work of the ILFs to invite comments on all aspects of their work, including: 
  
- whether an independent body such as the ILFs the best way to carry out the function; 
- how well the policy of supporting severely disabled people in their own home has been achieved; 
- quality and extent of customer service. 
  
16. In addition the ILFs advised all their clients of the review and invited them to comment. We have also consulted the Trustees, management and staff of the ILFs and other Government departments with an interest in the work of the ILFs – Department of Health (DH), the then Department for Education and Employment, HM Treasury, Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland (and through them the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety), Scottish Executive, and the National Assembly for Wales.

17. Responses were received from over 1,600 ILF clients plus over 60 organisations and other individuals. The latter are listed at Annex B. Responses covered all aspects of the ILFs organisation and operation. The vast majority were complimentary about the Funds aims and objectives, but there was a good deal of detailed comment about the operational policies. We would like to express our gratitude to all of those who took the trouble to comment.

DH Review of Home Care Charging Policies 
18. We have considered the work that DH has undertaken in relation to guidance to LAs in England on charging regimes for social care. The Government's White Paper Modernising Social Services identified problems with the variations in councils' home care charging policies. These variations were also identified in the Audit Commission report 'Charging with Care' of May 2000. The Government has taken powers through the Care Standards Act 2000 to issue statutory guidance to councils on home care charges. A consultation on this draft guidance began on 3 January and ended on 30 March. The consultation report and guidance, “Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential Social Services” was published on 23 November 2001 under cover of LA circular LAC(2001)32. We have had full regard to the implications of the DH guidance for the ILFs and taken this into account in making our recommendations. The arrangements for social services charging regimes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Executive, National Assembly for Wales and the DHSS&PS respectively.

19. Individual decisions about the provision and management of personal social services, including charges, are the responsibility of local social services departments. Charges for home care are not new, and have been in place since 1948. Councils have discretion whether or not to make charges for non-residential adult personal social services. The legislation requires that any charges levied must be reasonable. DH's draft guidance does not require local councils to charge for home care. It proposes a number of principles to ensure that, where councils do charge, this will be done more fairly. 
  
Supporting People 
20. We have also had regard to the charging and means-testing proposals made in relation to the DTLR-led Supporting People scheme. 
  
21. From April 2003 a new Supporting People grant will be made available to local councils in England to contribute to the funding of housing-related support services. Some service users will receive both support services funded through Supporting People and social services home care as a package. This will need to be reflected in ILF procedures and assessments. 
  
22. The framework governing local councils’ use of the Supporting People grant will include requirements in relation to charging for support services. These are set out in detail in a DETR (now DTLR) consultation paper on charging and means-testing, available on the Supporting People K-web at http://barn.ccta.gov.uk/detr/detr1.nsf. There is already co-operation between the ILFs and LAs over the taking into account of DLA, to ensure that the same resource is not charged against twice, and the same considerations will need to be applied in relation to any support provided under the Supporting People provisions. As for LA charging regimes (para 18) the arrangements to apply outside England are matters for the territorial authorities.   

ORGANISATIONAL ISSUES 
Introduction 
23. At their introduction both the original fund in 1988 and the reconstituted funds in 1993 represented the only formal method of providing cash payments to disabled people for the purchase of personal care requirements. Local authority (LA) social services provided services to disabled people but, apart from a few novel schemes introduced earlier by some LAs, it was not until the Direct Payments scheme was introduced in 1997 that cash payments could be made by LAs to individuals. The Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 aimed to extend disabled clients choice about who they wished to employ as carers and how that care should be provided. From 1 April 1997 the Act gave LAs the permissive power to make cash payments, or a mix of services and cash, in lieu of local authority commissioned services to disabled people who are willing and able to take responsibility for their own care arrangements. The aim was increased choice in community care provision. Such payments could be used by a disabled person to employ a personal care assistant. Initially Direct Payments were available only to those aged between 18 and 65, but from February 2000 eligibility was extended to those aged over 65 and from April 2001 to those aged 16 and 17. 
  
24. The ILF was originally introduced to address a specific situation arising from changed benefit parameters on the introduction of Income Support. It quickly moved beyond that limited scope, and over the years the two new Funds have become an integral part of the permanent support network for disabled people. With the introduction of Direct Payments, which provide a similar type of support for those who wish to manage their own care requirements, it is arguable that a provision rooted in the benefits system is no longer the best way of maintaining this type of support for disabled people. We therefore considered what alternative ways there were of providing that support. 
  
Alternative methods of provision 
Provision by local authorities 
25. The obvious candidate for supplying the support currently provided by the ILFs would be LAs. They now have the facility for making Direct Payments which could replace ILF payments. However, a significant proportion of ILF clients responding to the consultation were strongly opposed to any such change, and this view was supported by number of responses received from organisations, including a number of social services respondents. The principal arguments advanced were that local provision would be subject to local variations, changes in funding priorities and potential budget restrictions. The ILFs were seen as being more flexible and more readily available than Direct Payment schemes, and the existence of a programme operating a national scheme was considered a major benefit in comparison with differing provision between LAs. 
  
26. There was a minority view that the LAs’ primary responsibility for community care should be acknowledged and that the ILFs’ functions should be transferred to LAs. The ring-fencing of the relevant funds was seen as a prerequisite of such a move but, reflecting concern about competing local priorities, some were concerned about the effectiveness of any ring-fencing arrangements.

Transfer of functions to another related body 
27. We considered whether there were any related bodies to whom the ILFs’ functions might be transferred, or with whom the ILFs might be merged to produce either economies of scale or appropriate synergies. However, it is apparent that there are no other national organisations who operate in the same or similar fields who might present such opportunities. It was suggested that the Family Fund Trust might be one such organisation. However, they support a different client group – under 16s – and are geared to providing material and respite support such as furnishings, domestic electrical goods and holidays rather than care services.

Conclusion 
28. There is a strong body of opinion amongst disability groups and users that the ILF function should remain as a discrete, national scheme to supplement variable local provision. However, there are also arguments for transferring the ILF function to LAs, and these may become stronger in the longer term, as the recent LA guidance on care charging beds down and leads to greater consistency of approach across LAs. Although there are many detailed ways in which it is felt that ILF service to disabled people might be improved, discussed later in this report, there is wide support for the work carried out by the ILFs. We have not identified any other organisations with whom the ILFs might to advantage amalgamate, and we therefore recommend that the ILFs should remain in existence in their current form. 
  
MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES
Appointment of Trustees 
29. The current Trustees were not appointed under open competition and their appointments were not time limited, although the Secretary of State could terminate these at any time at his discretion. Since the ILFs began their current remit in 1993 the Nolan Committee made its recommendations about public appointments and the office of Commissioner for Public Appointments has come into existence. In March 2001, one of the original Trustees resigned. In parallel with the process to recruit a successor the opportunity was taken to set time limits on the period of the other Trustees’ tenure, in line with OCPA guidance. All Trustees now have fixed term appointments. The recent recruitment exercise was conducted by open competition following advertisements in the national, ethnic and disabled press. All future exercises will also be conducted by open competition.

Financial Accountability 
30. The ILFs operate as cash-limited funds and it is one of the principal duties placed on the Trustees to remain within their budgets. In this they have succeeded. They are allowed discretion within the terms of the Trust Deeds to set conditions under which assistance will be provided. But in exercising that discretion, and in responding to calls for more generous treatment of clients, they have always to have regard to the effect on their budgets. This has to take into account not only the effect on admitting new claims but also to the cost of maintaining the commitment into future years as well as offers to clients that have not yet been taken up.

Compliance with Cash Limits 
31. The amounts spent by the ILFs since 1996, for both grants and administration, compared to their allocation are shown in the following table: 

£m

1993/94

1994/95

1995/96

1996/97

1997/98

1998/99

1999/00

2000/01

 

GB: Spend

112.8

101.3

104.5

109.4

107.5

112.1

119.8

131.3

Allocation

116.0

117.1

104.6

109.6

110.3

121.6

121.5

131.3

NI: Spend

6.2

5.4

4.9

4.9

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.6

Allocation

8.0

7.9

5.1

5.5

5.2

5.4

5.8

6.0

UK:  Spend

119.1

106.8

109.5

114.3

111.9

116.3

124.1

135.9

Allocation

124.0

125.0

109.6

115.1

115.5

127.0

127.3

137.3


32. Although the Funds are cash-limited their allocations have increased by an average of 5.0 per cent a year over the last five years. The spend has not always equalled the provision, but the Trustees have a delicate path to tread to ensure that not only do they remain within a current-year provision but also that commitments undertaken ie. offers of support made but not yet taken up, will not result in the following years’ provision being exceeded.

Administration/Staffing Levels 
33. Administration expenditure of the ILFs was 2.8% of the total budget in the year 2000/2001. Staffing levels within the ILFs are set by the Trustees on advice from the senior management of the Fund. Changing procedures over the years have resulted in a slow but steady increase in staff numbers. The staffing level of the original Fund was considered by a DSS Management Services review in 1990 but there has been no subsequent independent review. Recognising the desirability of periodic independent assessment of workloads and staffing, the Trustees in early 2001 commissioned an efficiency review. Consultants have been appointed to undertake the review and the exercise commenced on 3 September 2001. The areas being looked at include: review of administrative processes to look for efficiencies, review of organisational structure and staffing numbers to ensure numbers match business need and review of management information systems so that future internal and external assurances can be given on efficiency. We support the Trustees' view that this is an appropriate time for such a review and recommend that the results be used to inform next year’s budget considerations.   

Management 
Review of Cases 
34. In 1994 the current ILFs' Board of Trustees' established an annual review process, whereby each client is contacted to confirm that the Funds' money is being used in the appropriate manner. Discrepancies identified by the review process have caused the Funds to introduce more systematic methods for confirming that clients are still in receipt of DLA/AA via the Benefits Agency. A review enquiry form is issued to Extension Fund and 1993 Fund clients on at least an annual basis. LA social workers are also asked to keep the Funds informed of any changes in their part of the package as this affects contributions made to care costs. These reviews can pick up overpayments and they can also trigger increases in awards. 
  
35. Although there is a long tradition of paper-based reviews, visits to clients for review purposes have been less consistently undertaken. This has meant that some clients have not been visited for many years and, particularly in the case of Extension Fund clients who may not be receiving LA services, neither party has had the opportunity to reassess care needs. In September 2000 the Trustees instigated a pilot programme of review visits to clients of both Funds and in the light of the results have considered what system should be introduced. They have concluded that the most cost-effective method, both in terms of administrative cost and effective identification of client needs, is to have a biennial cycle of review visit followed by a paper review in the intervening year. It is felt that this will provide reassurance to clients that their needs are being fully addressed on a regular basis and provide Trustees with assurance about the correctness of payments so that they can properly discharge their accountability for public funds. The new review process is now being introduced, with priority being given to those who have not been seen for the longest time, although it will take some time before all clients are on the new cycle. 
  
36. Consultation responses from various organisations suggest that the introduction of an annual review process was not only a positive step towards ensuring benefit conditions are met and ultimately therefore reducing overpayments but also gave clients the opportunity to have their care packages increased should their needs have changed. 
  
  
"Regular spot checks should be carried out which should include quality outcomes for the service users"  Welsh County Council 
  
"I am delighted with the funds’ review of all cases at least once a year. Such reviews have provided for additional assistance which offers the continued support necessary for severely disabled people to remain in their home" Contact Officer, Midlands Social Services Department   
  
37. Concerns were raised however, on several issues resulting from the introduction of annual reviews. Some clients fear their care packages being reviewed in case their funding is reduced or withdrawn completely. Similarly one organisation expressed concern that clients have been given as little as one day’s notice before a review is carried out, suggesting that at least 2 weeks notice should be given. Furthermore, changes to a client's funding resulting from the outcome of a review, have in the past been implemented with only one week's notice. As well as causing undue problems for the disabled person this can also have the knock-on effect of personal assistants being made redundant or having their hours reduced with little notice.

38. The review process carried out by the funds is fundamental in ensuring that the money allocated for care packages is being used in the appropriate manner. This, together with the possibility of further data sharing between the funds and benefit databases, will in the majority of cases achieve this. 
  
39. Equally important though is the opportunity the reviews provide for clients to have their care needs re-assessed on a regular basis and gives extra financial help to those requiring more care. This is an important safeguard and ensures that clients do not face unnecessary hardship by supplementing additional care needs out of their own pocket. With the reviews being carried out by an independent social worker the clients' needs are considered first and foremost, and of course clients can request a review when their needs change as well as them being initiated by the Funds. Sufficient notice does however, need to be given by the funds/social worker when carrying out such reviews, in order to give clients sufficient time to consider their care needs in preparation for the visit. It is the practice of the ILF however, when arranging a visit, to send a letter outlining the process and explaining that a Visiting Social Worker (VSW) will be making contact. It is then a matter for the client and VSW to make a mutually convenient appointment. 
  
40. We recommend that where fundamental changes are to be made to a care package or the level of support provided at least four weeks notice is given before changes are implemented. This would not apply where change was prompted by any fraudulent aspect in the claim being discovered or where it was not appropriate to continue the current level of payment because of a significant change of circumstances such as the acquisition of substantial capital or the ending of care needs. 
  
41. The ILFs have for some years had the facility of checking their caseload against the DWP’s central database to confirm both that the client is still living independently and that they remain entitled to the higher rate care component of DLA or AA. This has exposed a significant number of cases where the client had died and someone, usually a family member, had continued to claim payment for care expenses. Although this has proved a valuable link, the Funds' officials are currently exploring the feasibility of checking the ILFs' database against Income Support and DLA databases under MIDAS (Matching, Intelligence and Data Analysis Services). This will improve detection of incorrect payments and reduce overpayments, as well as detecting fraudulent identity, fraudulent claims about disability or its extent, and fraudulent reporting of assets. To a great extent these overpayments, which can be sizeable, are only problems for the Extension Fund. The 1993 Fund is less prone to abuse because of the involvement of the local authorities as partners in the care package. Wherever fraud is identified the ILFs seek to prosecute offenders where possible, and in all cases they seek restitution from the parties involved. Although fraud levels within the ILFs are generally low we support the efforts made by Trustees and management to ensure that such activity is detected with the minimum delay and that the operation of the ILFs is made as secure from abuse as possible.

Appeals procedures 
42. Payments from both funds are discretionary and there is no external appeals process against decisions taken by its officers. In the event that applicants feel aggrieved about a decision given on their claim, they can ask for the decision to be reviewed at management level. If a client is still dissatisfied they can request that their case be referred to the Chief Executive. From June 2001 procedures have changed and before a further decision on review is made by the Chief Executive, she visits the client. Finally, if the matter has not been resolved at earlier stages, the grievance will be submitted to the Trustees for further consideration. Small committees of Trustees consider these cases outside the normal cycle of Trustees meetings and brief their colleagues about their decisions in order to ensure consistency. 
  
43. The lack of a formal appeals process attracted a few comments from organisations who were concerned primarily that the Funds’ process of reviewing decisions was internal. Although the Trustees’ independence was acknowledged, it was suggested that there should be an independent appeals process.   
  
"The ILF has no independent complaints procedure" Centre for Independent Living, Southern England 
  
"There is no adequate appeals process. A group of trustees do not secure enough independence and there should be same system as is in place for other benefits such as DLA". Consultancy 

44. However, as mentioned above, awards are discretionary payments and are not based on any statutory or prescriptive grounds of entitlement. It would not be possible for decisions to be considered at independent tribunal hearings as is the case when decisions based on Social Security regulations are in dispute. Appeal tribunals are in place to ensure that decisions made are in accordance with the law and as such the Funds’ decisions do not fall within the scope of such a system.

45. The Trustees are outside the normal decision-making process within the ILF and so do have a measure of independence, and do have the power to change the outcome of cases. We therefore conclude that the appeals processes do allow an appropriate level of reconsideration and adequate scope for the exercise of discretion and reversal or amendment of decisions. We therefore recommend that no change be made to appeals procedures. 
  
Complaints procedures 
46. For procedural or administrative complaints the ILF has recognised that its processes need to be more transparent. The Trustees have identified their strategic needs for a complaints service which will be based around dissatisfaction with service. They are designing a process that covers access, publicity, simplicity, confidentiality, fairness and effectiveness with monitoring of processes and management information. Further work is required before performance indicators can be published. Trustees aim to introduce and publish a complete procedure by early in 2002. We support the work that the Trustees are undertaking. 
  
Consultation with Users 
47. The Trustees recognised that although the ILFs have frequent contact with clients on an individual basis there was no system for consultation with users, either as a whole or via a representative group. They have therefore commenced a process to set up a User Group to represent the views of ILF clients to the Trustees. An ILF client will chair the group. The intention is to pilot the scheme, initially using clients within easy reach of the ILFs’ offices at Nottingham. To that end over 200 clients in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Sheffield were written to inviting expressions of interest. About 10 per cent responded, with eight volunteering to participate. The first meeting of the group took place on 26 September 2001. Following evaluation of the pilot, the intention is to extend the scheme throughout the UK.   
48. We commend the decision to set up a User Group and will monitor its establishment and ongoing activities. 
  
Local Authority Awareness 
49. Some concern was expressed that the proportion of LA social services customers making use of the ILFs varies widely between LAs. Although no central register of social services customer numbers is available, 1993 Fund clients as a proportion of total population in each LA area varies between 1.5 per 100,000 population and 80.0 per 100,000. It is suggested that there is a lack of publicity about the ILFs. In a situation where the active co-operation of LA social services is required in establishing a claim for ILF assistance it would be inappropriate to aim any publicity directly at potential clients. The ILFs do however have contact officers within social services departments and aim to have such contact points in each LA. Through these contact officers they undertake awareness seminars for relevant LA staff. These bring the existence of the Funds, their eligibility criteria and other operational considerations to the attention of those best placed to identify who might benefit from ILF assistance. These seminars are organised on a regional basis and are pro-actively offered to LAs within the area, but it is also open to LAs to make individual requests. 
  
50. The ILFs also have an ongoing commitment to giving presentations either on request or by pro-actively contacting LAs where take-up is low. In the year 2000/01 the ILFs gave 90 presentations, 80 to LAs and 10 to other organisations including Headway and Mencap. Those who attend the presentations are given a copy of the ILF application form, copies of the main leaflets and details of the relevant LA contact officer. In March 2001 the ILFs set up a web-site www.ilf.org.uk and copies of the application form, leaflets and guidance notes can be down-loaded from there. They are working with the Office of the e-Envoy (in Cabinet Office) to develop the web-site, consider on-line applications and make the site more user-friendly. 

51. The ILFs, when working with other organisations, seek to improve outcomes for users but more could be done to establish links and improve partnership arrangements with direct payment schemes and other schemes for disabled people like Access to Work and the DfES Disabled Students Allowance scheme. Although these two schemes can assist with the costs of care directly associated with work or education respectively, they would not meet the costs of any underlying care needs. Nevertheless, we recommend that the ILFs investigate the options for increased liaison in these areas. 
  
52. It is possible that individual LAs’ own policies contribute to the perceived “take-up” problem. There is anecdotal evidence that some authorities put a de facto limit on the amount they will normally pay for community care that means that the £200 a week threshold for LA payments towards ILF packages is never reached. Some respondents suggested that that be addressed by a lowering of the threshold. This would though subvert the LA’s prime responsibility for care services and it would be inappropriate to change ILF rules to address perceived shortcomings in LA provision.

53. We conclude that the ILFs are making all reasonable efforts to acquaint individual LAs and their staff of the Funds and their operations. We recommend that they should maintain and consolidate these efforts, but that any national or regional take-up campaigns would be inappropriate. 
  
POLICY ISSUES 
General 
54. The ILFs provide an additional option for a small and specific group and though their support is a valuable, and valued, component of overall support the terms of reference of this review did not seek to question the underlying balance of government policy. Some of the policy parameters operated by the ILFs are set by the Trustees and some are determined by the terms of the Trust Deeds under which they operate. Long-standing Government policy dictates that LAs have the primary responsibility for community care. 
  
55. We have looked at all aspects of the policies governing the operation of the ILFs, both those dictated by the Trust Deeds and those determined by the Trustees. A number of these have their origins in the benefit system and are linked to or modelled on the provisions of Income Support. The parallels with Income Support were certainly justified at the outset when ILF provision was very much an adjunct to the benefit. As already noted, it quickly moved beyond that limited scope, and over the years it has become an integral, if limited, part of the permanent support network for disabled people. 
  
56. We have considered whether a continued link between the ILFs and the basic provisions of Income Support are any longer desirable or justified. Income Support provides cash provision for basic living costs whereas the ILFs provide cash support for care costs which are additional to everyday living costs for a discrete group who have expenses beyond those of the generality of the population by virtue of their disability. There is thus no compelling logic for applying identical eligibility criteria to two disparate areas of provision. In considering the various aspects of ILF policy we have not therefore made any presumption that a direct parallel with Income Support must be maintained, although continuing to draw on elements of the IS approach does allow a degree of targeting on those in most need. 

Receipt of DLA 
57. The highest rate care component of DLA was established as the gateway to ILF support to reflect the intention that their focus was on the most severely disabled people. To qualify for the highest rate care component of DLA a person must be so severely physically or mentally disabled that 
  
- through out the day they require from another person either frequent attention in connection with their bodily functions or continual supervision in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others; and 
  
- at night they require either prolonged or repeated attention from another person in connection with their bodily functions, or for another person to be awake and watching over them for a prolonged period or frequent intervals in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others. 
  
It has been suggested that disabled people receiving the middle rate care component may have care needs that equal those of some highest rate care component recipients, and that they should therefore also be allowed access to the ILFs. This would move away from the original rationale under which the Funds were established and, whilst we have accepted elsewhere that circumstances have changed, we do not believe that there is any case for extending the basic criterion of eligibility for assistance from the ILFs. We therefore recommend that highest rate care component of DLA remains the gateway to ILF assistance to ensure that funding is targeted on the most severely disabled people. 

Age Limits 
58. The 1993 Fund accepts claims from those aged between 16 and 65. Once age 66 and beyond a new claim cannot be accepted and payments can only be made to those aged 66 and over where they were in receipt of payments before the 66th birthday. On the introduction of LA Direct Payments in 1997 they were available to those aged 18 to 65. From February 2000 DPs have also been available to those aged over 65, and from April 2001 the lower age limit was reduced to 16. It has been suggested that ILF payments should similarly be available to the over 65s. The 1993 Fund trust deed specifies that priority shall be given to the young and those in work. Those disabled early in life have often lost the opportunity to earn and save, and research evidence has shown a significantly greater disparity in income between younger disabled and non-disabled people than between those over pension age. The number of potential claimants aged over 65 has potentially significant budget implications for cash-limited funds like the ILFs, which places it outside the Terms of Reference of this Review. We do recognise that this is an issue of importance in promoting the independence of older people and we therefore propose that this be considered outside this review. 
  
Care by Family Members 
59. ILF awards help pay for the cost of employing paid care either through an agency or by private individuals, or a combination of the two. Awards can be used to pay close relatives who do not live with the applicant but not relatives living in the same household. In situations where a close relative stays at the applicant's home specifically to provide care, but maintains their own home they can also be considered. 
  
60. For this purpose a close relative is taken to be a spouse, partner, parent, parent-in-law, aunt, uncle, grandparent, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son or daughter, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or the spouse or partner of any of these. 
  
61. Allowing payments to be made to some relatives to provide care, not allowed within the DP schemes, enables clients to feel safer and more confident with people who are familiar to them as well as addressing additional issues. 
  
  
"ILF recipients are allowed to pay relatives who do not live with them as their carers whereas some LA direct payment schemes do not. Paying non-resident relatives to provide care also addresses the wider issue of family poverty and the effects of disability on the wider family. (Visiting Social Worker, Scotland). 
  
  
“In some cases family members are more willing than most to provide full time care. Where such family members need to work to earn a living, any such care they provide to the care recipient understandably needs to be paid for. It seems a pity that ILF policy prohibits any payment being made in such cases.” (ILF client)

62. Criticism of the ruling that close relatives living with a client cannot be paid to provide personal assistance was made by a handful of organisations who considered that paying such relatives was essential in keeping families together. Some clients find it difficult to interact with non-family carers, especially where the type of care they require is, say, for assisting with personal hygiene issues, and they would prefer to have the people they live with looking after them. In emergencies, where a carer may be off sick for example, it is often only a family member living in the same household who can provide cover at short notice. Where that family member may have to take time off from their normal work, allowing payment to be made would ease any difficulties this may cause from both a financial and social perspective. There are however issues about the independence of young adults and the avoidance of conflicts of interest when employing family members. 
  
63. We appreciate and understand the views raised by both clients and organisations in that they would like to see family members living in the same household being paid for providing care. 
  
64. However, the cash limited nature of the ILFs requires the focus of funding where there are clear gaps in provision. There are a range of social security benefits paid on account of personal care needs and to support informal carers. Principally they are Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance, the income related benefits disability premiums (including the Income Support severe disability premium), and more specifically Invalid Care Allowance and carer premium in the income related benefits. With existing ILF provision already more widely-based than that allowed by some LAs, we therefore recommend that there be no change. 

Earnings Rule 
65. The earnings disregard applied by the ILFs has generally followed that operated by Income Support, although there was a major departure from that principle in 2000. The disregard commenced at an initial £15 per week but has since been adjusted twice, first to a flat £30 a week and most recently, in January 2000, to £30 plus 45 per cent of the next £170 a week, a maximum potential disregard of £106.50 a week. Despite the significant increase in the amount of the disregard, this issue has since attracted a great deal of criticism, being perceived as a major disincentive to entering or retaining work. Surprisingly, the previous flat rate disregard attracted only limited criticism. Recent experience suggests that the absence of prior criticism was a result of uncertainty about the pre-existing disregard and a perception, particularly among some Extension Fund clients, that special dispensations had been granted, deriving from the less controlled regime operated before 1993. Despite the issue of review forms over subsequent years which requested information about income, full details were not always forthcoming and may not have been rigorously followed up by the Funds. When, following the January 2000 changes, earnings assessments were more consistently applied this was seen by some as the imposition of a harsher regime, not the more generous provision which was intended. 
  
66. The level of the earnings disregard was the topic that attracted the most comment in the consultation process, unanimously suggesting that it was an unfair burden on those severely disabled people who were able to work. It was seen as being a disincentive to commence work and, for those already in work, a disincentive to progress and seek advancement. It was suggested as unfair that disabled people should be required to contribute to the costs of personal assistance, to perform tasks that able-bodied people can undertake unaided, effectively a tax on disability. 
  
“Disabled people should not be charged for the provision of personal support which should come from the central exchequer, local authorities or local taxation. Although contributions have reduced this is still a major disincentive to employment. This undermines the objectives of the DDA in promoting equal employment and not only forfeits the disabled persons taxes but deprives employers of a small group of skilled and able people.”  Disability Rights Commission   
“I feel that the means test is severe and can restrict independence rather than create it. For instance it could inhibit employment or a relationship, knowing that a great deal of income, either from employment or a partner's employment would be means tested, this could lead to isolation, rather than the independence I am sure the ILF scheme aspires to. Means testing feels like a disability tax.” (ILF client)

67. We believe that even the improved level of the earnings disregard is still not fully consistent with the Government’s commitment to Welfare to Work and to the philosophy behind the New Deal for Disabled People. Disabled people entering employment have state benefits withdrawn, pay income tax and National Insurance and have work-related costs. The imposition of significant charges, either by the LA or by reduced ILF support, can create major barriers to work for disabled people. Organisations of and for disabled people wish to see a level playing field in work opportunities as between disabled and non-disabled people and the removal of differences of treatment. We conclude that the present disregard does not offer a sufficient incentive for disabled people to enter, retain or seek advancement at work.

68. To reflect the DWP’s ethos of “work for those who can, support for those who cannot”, and in support of wider Government policies in the area of welfare to work, we therefore recommend that all earnings should be disregarded in ILF assessments.

Capital Rule 
69. As specified in the funds trust deed, one of the criteria that applicants must satisfy before an award can be made is that they must have capital of less than £8,000, mirroring the capital rule in Income Support. This is the amount currently prescribed under Section 134(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 to which direct reference is drawn in the ILF Trust Deeds. Assumed income from capital and savings of an applicant (and their partner) between £3,000 and £8,000 will be taken into account when calculating the contribution that an applicant will have to make towards the total cost of their care package. This assessment is similar to the basic Income Support assessment taking into account various sources of income and disregards. Capital or savings under £3,000 are disregarded. 
  
70. Where an applicant has capital or savings above £8,000, which has been earmarked for disability-related equipment or adaptations, this may currently be disregarded for a reasonable period of time, usually regarded as six months, while the purchase is pending. 
  
71. There was widespread support for raising the capital limit to £16,000 thereby bringing the funds in line with the then charging policies used by LAs. 
  
  
“The limit of £8,000 on savings presents serious difficulties for disabled people and this restriction seems to rest on the assumption that savings are for a rainy day. These savings are for a specific purpose. Many people will not live long enough to enjoy a conventional pension therefore their savings are their pension. Without it users will rely on benefits therefore the Government should be encouraging savings by disabled people. The limit should be increased to at least £16,000.”  (Disability Rights Commission)   
“From an electric wheelchair user point of view I understand how much more expensive life can be for someone who is disabled. I feel that the amount that the ILF client is allowed to save before having to pay more personal contributions towards their care should be slightly extended.” (ILF client)   
  
72. Similarly, recent DH recommendations put forward in their guidance, “Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential Social Services” were that local authorities should, as a minimum, follow the same savings limits as when making residential care assessments which are outlined in the Charges for Residential Accommodation Guide (CRAG). Thereby, savings up to £11,500 would be ignored, between £11,500 and £18,500 a tariff income would be assumed, with a full charge for those with savings over £18,500.

73. Given the parallels between the support provided by the ILFs and social services there would be logic in the funds trust deeds reflecting the DH guidance in its assessment regime on capital limits, and as is already being operated by some local authorities. We consider that this would support the Government's objective to encourage work for those who can and provide security for those who cannot. We are sympathetic to the views expressed about the level of the present capital limit and therefore recommend that the capital limit be raised to £18,500, with capital between £11,500 and £18,500 attracting an assumed tariff income. The ILFs already have discretion to ignore certain "earmarked" capital set aside for the purchase of items related to the client's disability as mentioned in paragraph 70. We recommend that this practice continues. 
  
74. Lump-sum payments awarded under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act, and ex-gratia payments made to former Far East prisoners of war and victims of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease should be disregarded entirely in assessing available capital. This policy is already operated by the ILFs under the allowed discretion, but we recommend that it be formally laid down. 
  
Partners’ Income and Savings
75. Reflecting its origins in the benefits system the ILFs operate a household means test. This results in a partner’s income and savings being held to be available to contribute to the costs of the client’s care needs. Several respondents commented that it was unfair that partners should be expected to contribute to care packages and that it consequently represented a disincentive to work, or to seek advancement at work, or save. Currently only about 400 partners of clients are in work.

76. Although the ILFs have grown away from their roots in the benefit system and it may be questioned whether it is any longer necessary to maintain all aspects of the household means test. Despite the divergence from strict Income Support provisions the ILFs sit in a position between the benefits and social services spheres. While it is appropriate to consider a full household means in a benefit like Income Support, where we are aiming to support both partners’ basic living costs, different considerations apply where we are considering the care costs of one individual. There is an inherent unfairness in asking other family members to directly support the sometimes substantial costs of care from their weekly income, which is what happens when an ILF client’s partner works and their earnings are taken into account in the ILF assessment. Therefore, although we do not believe that it is appropriate for a partner’s savings or other income to be disregarded, we recommend that partners’ earnings be subject to the full disregard recommended at para 68 above in respect of clients’ earnings.

Treatment of State Benefits 
77. The ILFs support people at or around the Income Support level of income. There are around 3,000 Income Support severe disability premium (SDP) recipients receiving help from the ILFs and the majority of the 15,000 clients receive DLA higher rate care component. Other state benefits/tax credits received by ILF clients and/or their partners are Attendance Allowance, Child Benefit, Disabled Person's Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance mobility component, Incapacity Benefit, Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit, Invalid Care Allowance, Jobseeker's Allowance, Retirement Pension, War Disablement Pension, War Widow's Pension, Widow's Benefit and Working Families Tax Credit. 
  
78. The original ILFs treatment of Attendance Allowance (AA) varied over time. Originally it took all of the Attendance Allowance into account, but allowed disability-related expenses to be offset against this benefit. That changed in June 1990 when half AA was automatically taken into account, but changed again between March 1991 and April 1992 when AA was totally disregarded. In 1992 this reverted to take account of half of AA with no offsets. Currently, half the DLA care component is normally taken by the ILFs as being available towards a person's care needs. All of the SDP is taken into account as available income. Other state benefits are also taken fully into account in ILF assessments, and Disabled Person's and Working Families’ Tax Credits (DPTC and WFTC) are included in clients’ net pay when applying earnings disregards. We have considered the treatment of the following benefits in the ILF assessment process:   
- DLA care component (and Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) and Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (ESDA) which are paid as part of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Pension): DLA is a contribution towards the extra costs of disability and it is therefore appropriate that ILF assessments give some consideration to its receipt. Furthermore, disregarding DLA completely could have ramifications for the way that it is treated in LA charging regimes, and significant expenditure implications – for both ILFs and LAs. We therefore consider that the question falls outside the remit of this report and should be the subject of separate consideration as part of ongoing deliberations on wider issues covering Government support for disabled people.   
- SDP (currently £41.55 per week) is a premium within Income Support which is payable to disabled single people or couples who live alone and have no one to care for them. It is intended to contribute towards their care costs, and as such it is fair and reasonable that it is taken into account in ILF assessments and thus used for the intended purpose. We therefore recommend that it continue to be taken fully into account. We are aware of recent DH guidance on treatment of SDP in LA charging policies. Any changes to the treatment of SDP would raise wider issues which would need to be the subject of separate consideration. 
  
- DPTC and WFTC were introduced in 1999 and are usually paid through the wage packet. DPTC is a means-tested payment for working people whose disability put them at a disadvantage in getting a job. Its calculation is very like that of WFTC, aimed at working people on low to middle wages who have a family, but is payable to those without children and at more advantageous rates. It would therefore normally be more beneficial for disabled people to claim DPTC rather than WFTC. Both credits are currently treated as part of net pay for ILF assessment purposes. DPTC and WFTC are designed to tackle in-work poverty, and encourage work for those who have barriers to work, by supplementing the wage levels of recipients. We considered disregarding DPTC and WFTC in the calculation of net pay, but the interaction of the tapers in the two regimes would result in high marginal deduction rates. Therefore, if the recommendation at para 68 for the disregard of all earnings is not accepted, we recommend that DPTC and WFTC continue to be included in net pay for ILF purposes. 
  
Treatment of Occupational Pensions and pension contributions 
79. Occupational pensions are currently taken fully into account by the ILFs in assessing client contributions, but 50 per cent of contributions towards pensions are ignored. It has been suggested, principally by the ILF Trustees themselves, that this is inconsistent with the Government’s encouragement to people to make provision for their retirement. However, whilst it can be argued that relaxing the earnings disregard, as we have recommended at para 68, is justified to improve work incentives, the same argument does not apply to occupational pensions. It would also be inconsistent with both the broader social security system and with DH charging guidance for LA social services. We therefore recommend that occupational pensions continue to be taken into account. However, if the recommendation at para 68 for the disregard of all earnings is not accepted, we recommend that the whole of contributions to such pensions may be offset against net earnings.

80. Some respondents suggested that for those whose condition indicated a limited life expectancy a pension plan was unrealistic. They viewed contributions to PEPs, TESSAs and ISAs, to provide a cushion against a likely future deteriorating condition, as analogous to pension contributions and suggested that they also be subject to the 50 per cent disregard. While recognising why a pension may not be appropriate in these cases we nonetheless conclude that such contributions are still savings in the conventional sense and that no special treatment be afforded them in ILF assessments. 
  
Limit on initial packages 
81. The 1993 Fund Trust Deed states that the joint care package provided by the Fund and the LA should be sufficient to ensure that the disabled person can continue to live independently in the community for the following six months. Such packages were originally limited to a cost of £500 a week, raised to £625 per week in January 2000. The original intention of the package limit is understood to have been to establish an economic and sustainable package rather than a care at home regime at any cost. However, social service practice has moved on over the years and homecare packages are available today that would not have been considered viable some years ago. 
  
82. This limit was seen by respondents as hampering the transfer of disabled people from residential to homecare in the community, as many have extensive care needs that cannot be accommodated within the £625 limit. There is of course nothing to prevent an LA from fully funding such a package itself, but there was a suggestion that the cost of care packages was ‘managed down’ to the limit to get through the ILF barrier for the initial period. Thereafter, when ILF discretion would allow the support of a more expensive package, the package could be extended. The feeling was that if the LA was prepared to pay well in excess of the minimum threshold figure then they should be allowed to do so. This seems to have logic, but perhaps overlooks the fact that in this event the ILF – which would currently not fund such a package at all – would be committed to a maximum sum payment of £375 per week. For every 50 cases per year thereby becoming eligible for ILF support there would be a cost of £1m a year.

83. It is one of the Trustees' functions to live within their allocated budget. There is an argument therefore that says that if they were able to accept such applications on a discretionary basis whilst still staying within budget then they should be allowed that latitude. It would be in the spirit within which the ILFs were established to allow appropriate discretion to the Trustees to decide which packages to fund within the available resources. However, this would be difficult and contentious to deliver. Any larger package that was accepted for support would be seen as setting a new de facto limit and would create pressure to accept other cases, with attendant scope for argument should it be declined. Whatever the imperfections of the current arrangements, in a cash-limited fund there is much to be said for the certainty of the current position. While it denies ILF support for the highest cost care packages, these can still be provided by LAs in appropriate cases. We therefore recommend that a limit on initial package costs be retained. There is a separate, but related issue arising from the introduction of Care Trusts and pooled budgets between the NHS and LAs. In such situations, an individual’s healthcare and social care are funded from the one budget and the costs will not necessarily be readily identifiable. However, the ILF assessment will need to recognise that the nursing cost element will need to be established and excluded from the overall package cost in determining the application of the package limit. The operation of the policy in such circumstances will be kept under review.

Maximum Sums payable 
84. The maximum amounts payable as ILF grants from 1993, £300 a week for the 1993 Fund and £560 a week for the Extension Fund, were raised in January 2000 to £375 and £625 a week respectively. This increase took into account not only inflation since 1993 but also the advent of the European Working Time Directive and the increased annual leave entitlements that were due to carers’ employees. In addition to the arguments about the cost of high needs care packages raised in the preceding paragraph, some respondents considered that the limits should be raised annually in line with inflation.   

85. We acknowledge the long time between setting of the original figure and its uprating. We believe that a more structured approach to consideration of the appropriate level for maximum payments is required. We recommend that Trustees review the maximum sum figure biennially and, if they feel that an increase in the maximum sums is appropriate, present a case to Ministers. 

Local Authority contributions 
86. It has been a requirement of the 1993 Fund since its inception that LAs are required to provide cash or services to the value of £200 a week towards the cost of any care package. When the maximum sums payable by the two funds were increased in January 2000 the minimum LA requirement was not increased. This is not a topic that was raised during the consultation process, but we have considered whether this threshold should now be raised. 
  
87. A number of consultation responses suggested that in some areas access to the ILFs was restricted by LA support policies which meant that for a number of reasons the £200 per week threshold could not be reached. While this is essentially a question for the LA to answer, we nonetheless felt that it would not be appropriate in most cases for the threshold figure to be raised. 
  
There are people in receipt of higher rate care awarded some time ago whose care needs are so low that the SSD would not fund the initial £200 care package particularly as SSDs tighten up their eligibility criteria for services. (Disability Social Worker, Midlands County Council) 
  
88. Other respondents suggested that the initial package limit and the maximum sums payable should be raised. These are discussed in more detail above, but we are recommending that the maximum sum be increased. However, in the partnership arrangement that is reflected in the operations of the 1993 Fund we do not believe that it is equitable that the whole of any additional package costs fall on the ILFs. As a caveat to any increase in the ILF maximum sums we therefore recommend that such increases are only paid where the LA contribution is also raised commensurately. Therefore, in new cases the ILF might for example pay an additional £25 per week above the current £375 limit subject to a minimum additional contribution of £25 per week from the LA above their current contribution. In a current 1993 Fund case where a maximum ILF award is in payment and an LA contribution of £250 per week is being provided, the ILF might pay an additional £25 per week, but only if the LA contribution is also increased from £250 to £275. 
  
Long-stay hospital leavers 
89. Representations were received from Liverpool NHS Health Authority, Paradigm Consultancy, Michael Batt Foundation and the Local Government Association concerning the policy of declining ILF funding for those who are long-stay hospital leavers. As most of the people in this category suffer from learning difficulties it was seen as discriminatory against that group and unfair that they were denied access to funding that might improve their lives. The ILF Senior Management Team felt that the DWP policy was proving difficult to administer largely because of social services difficulties in finding access to the necessary resources for these individuals. 
  
90. However, 1992 NHS guidance (HSG(92)43) made it clear that Health Authorities should have agreed financial arrangements with receiving LAs when some people were discharged from long-stay hospital. "Health Authorities have been funded to care for these people and it is therefore for them to fund their transfer into the community". (Paragraph 9 of Annex A of the circular). Such individuals were often only in need of social, rather than nursing, care and where this had previously been met by the NHS it was appropriate that where responsibility for social care transferred to LAs there was a transfer of funds. Transfer payments were effected under Section 28A of the NHS Act 1977, often known as dowry payments. Individuals will have gone into either residential care or been cared for in the community, others will have started in residential care before transferring to community care. In either event, funding for their social care will have been transferred from the NHS to LAs. It has been the view of the ILFs, supported by DWP, that as NHS funding had been provided they would not offer additional assistance. Critics have suggested that as transfer payments are not necessarily tied to a named individual it was inappropriate to take them into account. It is also pointed out that as the aim of the long-stay hospital closure programme was to provide better quality care the costs incurred by LAs might well be higher than those incurred by the health authority and reflected in the transfer of funds. Where though it was difficult to establish the level of the funding already provided from the NHS transfer it would also be difficult to establish what an appropriate LA contribution to any care package might be, should access to the ILFs be granted. 
  
91. We recognise that independence is at the core of the Learning Disability Strategy, launched in the White Paper “Valuing People – A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century” (CM 5086). Nonetheless, the ILFs are cash-limited funds and there would be significant financial implications for the Funds if they were to accept such cases: not only are there the ex-long-stay patients already in the community but we understand that there are a considerable number of learning disabled people still in long-stay hospitals in the UK. We have discussed the issue with colleagues at DH, and it is accepted that dowry payments should cover the relevant costs where a long-stay hospital patient transfers direct to independent living. However, it was felt that where the ex-patient had gone from hospital to residential care the dowry payment would have recognised only those costs and not necessarily the costs of independent living that might occur some years thereafter. We therefore recommend that there be no change to the ILF policy of declining to accept applications where the individual is moving direct from a long-stay hospital to independent living. It must remain the responsibility of LAs to support such cases.

92. However, this general policy would not preclude the possibility of ILF assistance in cases where any client was in a long-stay hospital only for assessment purposes, nor where previous long-stay hospital patients were discharged to residential care for some time before progressing to independent living. To the extent that this goes beyond recent practice, the ILFs will need to liaise with LAs to establish the likely call on their cash-limited budget before establishing appropriate criteria for considering any such claims. 
  
Annual Increases in payments 
93. Once it has been established that an applicant meets the eligibility criteria, an assessment is made of how much the care will cost, based on the rates that the care provider charges. After a calculation of the applicant's contribution to the care package has been made and agreement has been sought from the applicant, payment from the Funds commence. 
  
94. There is not expected to be a change in care costs until a package has been in payment for at least six months and any increases thereafter are expected to be met in full or in part, by the local authority. Only if required will the Funds consider whether they can increase their award and this is dependent on there being sufficient margin within their budget, and the award not exceeding £375 per week. 
  
  
“The ILF should go up with inflation because the Care agencies always put their rates up each year. I would like to increase my own carers' wages as they could easily go to better paid jobs”. (ILF client)   
  
95. There is no automatic, annual increase in the Funds’ award although the introduction of annual postal reviews and biennial review visits should help in those cases where increased costs are required, as long as they are carried out timeously and efficiently.   

96. However, a high proportion of clients responding to the consultation were in favour of an annual increase of their award, in line with inflation, a view which was also supported by a number of organisations. Some clients are said to be afraid to ask for a reassessment of their award in case it is reduced. 
  
  
"There ought to be process for annually reviewing and updating the payments made. The absence of an annual uprating means that in effect, disabled people are having to reduce the assistance they can receive or the responsibilities are falling back on others, including family members" (County Council Social Services Department, Southern England). 
  
"Another area for complaint is the inadequacy of awards when compared to the actual cost of employing care workers. Staff employed by ILF recipients are amongst the lowest paid and whom the government are aiming to help in tackling low pay and poor working conditions. However the need to reflect this through increased ILF awards has not been recognised. It is not acceptable that recipients should have to use their benefit money to top up low wages or be forced to hassle the ILF for additional increases therefore an annual increase is needed " ( Disability Alliance) 
  
  
97. However there is a route for clients to follow whereby they can apply for additional funding should their needs or care costs increase. Clients are advised, upon award of funding, of the changes in circumstances that they need to report, which include any increase or decrease in a person's care needs or costs. Therefore if a client's care costs have increased then there are sufficient procedures in place in which to apply for additional costs when the situation arises. If a client’s costs have increased and there has been no undeclared increase in any element of their income then there should be no reason to fear any reduction in support.   

98. Mainstream social security benefits are reviewed and generally uprated annually. However, ILF grants are not mainstream benefits and the whole thrust of arguments cited in response to the consultation has been against parallels being drawn with benefits, in particular Income Support. It is open to ILF clients to request a reassessment of their award at any time where there has been a change of circumstances, which would include an actual or impending increase in wage rates for their personal assistants. The revised review arrangements being introduced, and discussed at paras 36-42 above, will also present clients with a chance to bring changes in care needs to the Funds’ attention.   

99. We therefore conclude that no automatic annual increase in individual awards is appropriate, and so recommend. We have no evidence to suggest that clients are unaware of the facility to increase ILF payments should care costs increase, but to ensure that no client suffers for the want of this information we recommend that the ILF Management review their forms and notifications to satisfy themselves that the provision is sufficiently made known to clients and suitable reassurance provided. 

Care Needs and Financial Assessments 
100. Care needs and financial assessments are carried out separately by LAs and the ILFs. It is found stressful and upsetting by some clients to have to go through these procedures twice and we have considered whether there is any scope for rationalisation. 
  
101. Care needs assessments are carried out on behalf of the ILFs by their Visiting Social Workers. These are qualified current or recently retired social workers employed on a freelance basis – current social workers are allocated ILF work in areas adjacent to but not within their own LA area. It has been suggested that ILFs and LAs could agree a joint assessment procedure for both care needs and finances (financial assessments would be factual only as treatment of those finances could vary between the LA and ILFs) with the ILFs carrying out independent visits on a percentage of cases on an audit basis to satisfy themselves about the scope and accuracy of the information provided   

102. This would have substantial implications for ILF processes, requiring separate arrangements with each LA to agree a mutually acceptable assessment process which could require LAs to collect information they do not currently need for their own purposes. There is clearly merit in the principle but the practicalities need a good deal of consideration. We therefore recommend that the ILFs study the LA/NHS Single Assessment Process procedures to identify whether there is scope to introduce some such procedures in their dealings with some or all LAs. 

Employer responsibilities and costs 
103. We received representations about a number aspects relating to disabled peoples responsibilities as employers, and some of the associated costs, which were not felt to be adequately addressed by the ILFs at present. These included: 
  
- information and advice about employer responsibilities such as tax, NI, employment law etc 
- higher payments over Bank Holidays 
- retainers to carers/agencies while the disabled person is in hospital etc 
- sudden end to employment on the death of client. 
  
104. The ILFs already provide advice to clients on basic payroll issues and are able to direct them to sources of expert information on other employer responsibilities such as tax and employment law. In addition to this information and support is available from some LAs to those also receiving DPs. The expansion of DPs means that there will be advice points available in most LA areas, and there would be duplication if the ILFs were also to develop a parallel function beyond their current effort, albeit that DPs and ILF awards will not always both be in payment. We acknowledge the need for ILF clients to have appropriate advice and support in discharging their responsibilities as employers. We therefore recommend that the Trustees and management establish through their contact officer network what LA support is available, with the aim of agreeing to make this available to ILF clients whether or not they are receiving DPs, and review the support offered internally in light of the results. 
  
105. Higher payments over Bank Holidays or where cover is needed during a regular carer’s holidays can currently be provided. Where problems occur is when the additional cost would take a payment over the maximum sum in any given week. There are some monthly care packages made up of three weeks at a weekly rate below the current maximum payment and one week above the limit. We recognise the inflexibility that existing provisions impose and recommend that the maximum sum may be exceeded in any week where the annualised total of regular payments plus the additional payments remains within an annualised maximum sum. We recommend that this flexibility also applies where there is a regular variable package of care or where the client has additional support costs because of going on holiday.   

106. We similarly recognise the potential disruption to care provision that failure to pay a retainer to privately employed carers during short stays in hospital might cause, with carers perhaps seeking alternative work in the meantime. We recommend that ILF provision allow the payment of an appropriate retainer for up to 4 weeks in the event of such interruptions of caring, in keeping with the 28 days in hospital during which DLA/AA are allowed to remain in payment. 
  
107. Proposals for changes to Invalid Care Allowance (ICA) have recently been the subject of public consultation and a draft Regulatory Reform Order will shortly be laid before the Deregulation Committees of both Houses. One of those proposals is that on the death of the person being cared for the ICA can continue to be paid for 8 weeks: benefit currently ceases immediately on the death of the person being cared for. As a broad parallel to those proposals we recommend that ILF payments in respect of privately employed personal assistants may be made for up to 8 weeks after the death of the ILF client, or their permanent transfer into residential accommodation. Without the client to make the payment it would fall to the ILFs to make the payment direct, and we would expect that such payment would be subject to the carer failing to find other employment in the meantime. 

CONCLUSIONS 
108. It is clear from the comments received, particularly from their clients, that the ILFs are perceived as providing a valuable service, although naturally there are areas where changes and improvements could be made. We believe that they form a vital part of overall Government provision for severely disabled people and that the function should continue. We have considered whether the function could be carried out to better effect by an alternative method of organisation. But we have concluded that having the function carried out by the existing organisation under the aegis of the DWP remains appropriate and continues to reflect the interests of the clients. 
  
109. The administration of the Funds has generally been efficiently undertaken and expenditure kept within allocation. There have been areas where in the past more attention should have been paid to consistency of application of the eligibility and assessment ground rules. However, over the last couple of years there has been a greater focus placed on these areas by Trustees and management and we are encouraged by the measures taken to address the issues and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their services. This includes the new regime for review visits being introduced, which will not only improve adherence to the eligibility criteria but will also offer the opportunity for clients to have their care requirements reassessed and adequately reflected in their awards. 
  
110. We are grateful for the range and level of input from all respondents. We are sure that they will recognise that the ILFs are a cash-limited body and that although we have recommended a number of changes that do have a cost, estimated at around £4m a year, resources are finite. In a partnership system where ILF provision complements that of LA social services it would be inequitable to expect one partner to accept all the costs of improvement. 
  
111. Nonetheless, we have recognised the arguments in favour of greater alignment with LA charging regimes, about incentives to work and encouraging greater independence and support in moving away from Income Support. Our recommendations are designed to improve those aspects without incurring a major increase in expenditure which would put us outside our Terms of Reference. They also recognise the importance of ILF provision in the support of disabled people while reflecting the reality that they can never be the sole source of any improvements in community care. We believe that the changes we recommend will, if accepted, address many of the issues raised by respondents and represent a significant improvement in ILF provision for disabled people.

Department for Work and Pensions 
November 2001

ANNEX A

PROFILE OF CURRENT CLIENTS 
(includes cases where payment is suspended)

GENDER

GENDER

93 FUND

EXT FUND

No.

%

No.

%

MALE

3673

49

3577

43

FEMALE

3813

51

4655

57

TOTAL

    7486

8232


AGE

 

 

 

 

 

AGE

93 FUND

EXT FUND

 

No.

%

No.

%

  0 - 15

 

 

 92

1

16 - 25

1475

20

387

5

26 - 35

1737

23

1964

24

36 - 45

1605

22

1666

20

46 - 55

1424

19

1439

17

56 - 65

999

13

1209

15

66 +

246

3

1475

18

Total

   7486

   8232

 

INCOME SUPPORT

 

 

 

 

INCOME

93 FUND

EXT FUND

SUPPORT

No.

%

No.

%

In receipt of IS

5884

79

7170

87

Not in receipt

1602

21

1062

13

Total

    7486

8232

 

 

 

 

 

INVALID CARE ALLOWANCE

 

 

 

INVALID CARE

93 FUND

EXT FUND

ALLOWANCE

No.

%

No.

%

Carer iro ICA

2120

28

1505

18

No carer iro ICA

5366

72

6727

82

Total

    7486

8232

HOUSEHOLD                                             RESIDENCE AT APPLICATION

(Ext Fund data not available)                    (Ext Fund data not available)

HOUSEHOLD

93 FUND

 

Residence

93 FUND

 

No.

%

 

at application

No.

%

With parents(s)

2986

40

 

In hospital

426

6

Lives alone

2184

29

 

In residential care

377

5

With spouse

1046

14

 

At home

6683

89

With other(s)

955

13

 

Total

7486

 

With adult child(ren)

164

2

 

 

 

 

Lone parent

151

2

 

 

 

 

Total

7486

 

 


DISABILITY (Extn Fund data incomplete)

 

 

DISABILITY

1993 FUND

 

 

No.

%

 

Severe Learning Disability*

2126

28

 

Multiple sclerosis

1204

16

 

Cerebral palsy

1104

15

 

Spinal injury

566

8

 

Brain damage

456

6

 

Cerebro-vascular

394

5

 

Muscular dystrophy

245

3

 

Arthritis

181

2

 

Epilepsy

177

2

 

Spina Bifida

79

 

 

Parkinsons disease

70

 

 

Mental illness

69

 

 

Friedrichs ataxia

65

 

 

Huntingtons disease

48

 

 

Dementia

42

 

 

AIDS

36

 

 

Cancer

35

 

 

Motor Neurone disease

36

 

 

Polio

35

 

 

Hydrocephalus

27

 

 

Heart Disease

26

 

 

Respiratory Disease

26

 

 

Blood Disease

10

 

 

Osteoporosis

8

 

 

Others

403

 

 

         

* 326 of these clients are known to have Downs Syndrome
 

ANNEX B

LIST OF ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS RESPONDING
(Excludes ILF clients)

No

Organisation/Individual

1

Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea

2

Age Concern

3

Association of Directors of Social Services

4

Care Manager, Disability Team, Dorset County Council

5

Carers National Association

6

Choices Community Care Services Limited

7

City of Sunderland, Social Services Department

8

Colin Hughes

9

Contact Officer, Dudley Social Services Department

10

Contact Social Worker, East Renfrewshire Council

11

Contact Social Worker, Lancashire County Council

12

Department for Education and Employment

13

Department of Health

14

Development Co-Ordinator, Partnership Housing Ltd (Scotland)

15

Director of Supported Housing, Bournville Village Trust

16

Disability Alliance

17

Disability Information Services and Advice Training

18

Disability Rights Commission

19

Disability Social Worker, Shropshire County Council

20

Disability Team, Barnsley Council

21

Disabled group in Gloucestershire

22

Dorothy Hilton SRN

23

Flintshire County Council

24

Former ILF Visiting Social Worker

25

Greenwich Social Services

26

Hampshire Centre for Independent Living

27

Herefordshire Centre of Independent Living

28

Hertfordshire Personal Assistance Support Service

29

Ian Hughes

30

ILF Staff

31

ILF Trustees

32

Independent Living Alternatives

33

Institute for Applied Health and Social Policy, King's College London

34

Integrated Living Scheme (Advice and Support) Service

35

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

36

Lambeth SHAD

37

Liverpool Health Authority

38

Local Government Association

39

London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Social Services

40

Member of a Residents' Forum

41

Michael Batt Foundation

42

Mr and Mrs Hughes

43

Multiple Sclerosis Society

44

National Centre for Independent Living

45

National Union of Journalists

46

Network Manager, Oldham Social Services

47

Northern General NHS Trust - Spinal Injuries Unit

48

Paradigm Consultancy

49

Personal Assistance Adviser, Inverclyde Council

50

Physical Disabilities Care Management Team Manager, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral

51

RADAR

52

Sandwell Independent Living Centre

53

Scottish Executive

54

Senior Management Team of the ILF

55

Senior Practitioner, Herefordshire Council

56

Service Manager, Warwickshire County Council

57

Sheltered Housing Manager

58

Social Worker, Lincolnshire County Council

59

Social Worker, London Borough of Hillingdon

60

Social Worker, Southend on Sea

61

Staffordshire County Council

62

Team Manager, Hampshire County Council

63

Torfaen County Borough, Social Services Department

64

Tracey Jannaway

65

United Response (national voluntary organisation)

66

Visiting Social Worker

67

Visiting Social Worker, Perth

68

Wiltshire County Council, Social Services Department



ANNEX C

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS 
  
AA Attendance Allowance 
CAA Constant Attendance Allowance 
CRAG Charges for Residential Accommodation Guide 
DDA Disability Discrimination Act 
DETR Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions 
DH Department of Health 
DHSS&PS Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland 
DIG Disablement Income Group 
DLA Disability Living Allowance 
DP Direct Payments 
DPTC Disabled Person’s Tax Credit DRC Disability Rights Commission 
DSD Department for Social Development 
DTLR Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions 
DWP Department for Work and Pensions 
ESDA Exceptional Severe Disablement Allowance 
ILF Independent Living Fund(s) 
ISA Individual Savings Account 
LA Local Authority 
NDPB Non-Departmental Public Body 
NHS National Health Service 
NI Northern Ireland 
OCPA Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments 
OPCS Office of Population, Census and Surveys 
PEP Personal Equity Plan 
QR Quinquennial Review 
SDP Severe Disability Premium 
SSD Social Services Department 
TESSA Tax Exempt Special Savings Account 
WFTC Working Families Tax Credit

ANNEX D

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS FROM ILF QUINQUENNIAL REVIEW 
  
The figures in Table A are representative of the negative comments received from clients. All other responses were expressions of general satisfaction with the help and support that the funds have provided. Out of the 1600 responses, 309 negative comments were made - at least 80% of clients therefore appreciated the Funds and in overall favour of their continuation in their current format. (The figure of 309 is not the number of clients expressing dissatisfaction with the Funds however, as some clients raised more than one of the following points as well as offering positive comments of the Funds). 
  
Table B is the summary of the responses from the 67 organisations (shown in Annex B) who responded. Topics 1,3 and 4 have been broken down further as differing views were provided on these subjects. In all other areas the comments given were critical of the funds current policies and procedures.

A

 

 

 

B

 

 

CLIENT RESPONSES

 

ORGANISATIONS RESPONSES

Topics

 

No. of comments

%

(*)

 

Topics

No.

%

Annual Increases

91

6

 

1) Future control

43

64

Employer responsibilities

37

2.3

 

ILF/DWP

31

72

Means Test

36

2.3

 

LA control

6

14

Future ILF- No Social Services involvement/

31

1.9

 

DH

National Org

1

5

2.3

11.7

remain with DWP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Service

21

1.3

 

2) Means Test

38

56

No funding for social activities

12

 

 

3) Customer service

31

46

Close relatives

12

 

 

Positive comments

10

32

Rates of care

10

 

 

Negative comments

21

68

Publicity

10

 

 

4) ILF’s success

24

36

Age Limits

10

 

 

Positive comments

17

71

Eligibility

9

 

 

Negative comments

7

29

Others inc

30

 

 

5) £625 ceiling

22

33

Complaints process, age limits

 

 

 

6) Partners income

18

27

Partners income, reviews

 

 

 

7) Emergency Payts

18

27

 

 

 

 

8) Capital limits

13

19

* Percentage of total responses 

 

9) DLA contributions

10

15

 

 

 

 

10) Annual increases

9

13

 

 

 

 

11) Age limits

9

13

 

 

 

 

12) Reviews

8

12

 

 

 

 

13) Eligibility

8

12

 

 

 

 

14) Accountability

7

10

 

 

 

 

15) Publicity

6

9

 

BACK TO CONTENTS