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Annual Report 2001-2002 (Client version)

Newsletter July 2002

This is our first ILF Newsletter to clients. We intend to produce it regularly, giving you some information about our work each year. We hope you will find it both interesting and useful.

Government review

The most important recent event for the Funds has been the outcome of the Government’s Review. This looked at the role played by the ILF in supporting disabled people in the community. It also examined how we were organised and managed.

Both trustees and staff were delighted with the report from the Review. Sixty organisations and more than 1600 clients had contributed. The outcome from your response and the Government’s wider investigation has been a decisive vote of confidence in the work of the Funds.



We were pleased that the Government took on board many of our proposals. The two main improvements, which we recently wrote to you about, were the change in the treatment of earnings and the increase in the capital limit. As a result of the Review we have also been able to raise both the maximum we are able to pay as an award, and the maximum that the 93 Fund and local authority can jointly award when a person first applies. These changes will help future applicants as well as current clients.

Improvement in our services

Most of the other recommendations in the report, which were designed to improve our operational work, support initiatives that we have taken during this past year.

The formal complaints procedure that we informed you about in March was one of these. Another was the development of our relationship with social services departments, so that information needed to support jointly funded care packages can be exchanged as swiftly as possible. An efficient partnership between the Funds and social services is vital if we are to support our clients as well as we would like.

We are moving towards revisiting all clients on both Funds every two years. This is providing us with the opportunity to identify where more help can be offered. So far, 63 per cent of these revisits have resulted in an increased award.

This expansion of our revisit programme increased the demands on staff considerably. Although extra staff were taken on, some backlogs of work arose. In October 2001 only 49 per cent of decisions were being made within 12 weeks of application. However, by the end of March 2002, this had increased to 88 per cent.

We have been examining how we can improve our work processes and our widening our use of information technology. We are also reviewing all of our literature to make sure that we are providing clear and useful information. The comments from our Client User Group have been invaluable in helping us with this.

Client User Group

The Client User Group, which advises us on a variety of issues from the clients’ point of view, has been meeting every two months since September 2001.

So far, topics such as the design of literature and forms, communications between the Funds and Clients and the employments of personal assistants, have been discussed. Changes to our literatures have already been made as a result of these discussions and other suggestions are currently being considered.

The current Group’s members come from the East Midlands. In the coming year we hope to begin new groups in other parts of the country.

A member of the Client User Group

Staff and accommodation

Staff numbers in Nottingham have now increased to 199 and more are due to start this summer. This has enabled us to deal with our workload much more effectively, but means that we need to find larger offices. We are currently negotiating a move to new premises in Nottingham.

While we work towards this move, we are determined to continue to improve the quality of our services to our clients, ensuring that we make the best use of the resources available to us for your benefit.

ANNUAL EXPENDITURE
2001/2002


2001/2002 expenditure

93Fund awards £80,306,661
Ext Fund £69,239,869
Administration £3,512,685

93 FUND CLIENTS BY REGION

no. clients per 100,000 population

England 11.3
Scotland 23.2
Wales 36.4
N. Ireland 20.0

UK 13.7

EXT. FUND CLIENTS BY REGION

no. clients per 100,000 population

England 11.3
Scotland 23.2
Wales 36.4
N. Ireland 20.0

UK 13.7
Some members of the Client User Group

Some statistics (March 2002)

· 8,060 clients were receiving 93 Fund awards, an increase of 946 over the year. Another 752 had outstanding offers and the Fund was waiting for these to be accepted.

· 2,690 applications had been received during the year.

· The success rate for applicants was 69 per cent. Almost a third of those rejected were not receiving the highest rate of the care component of the Disability Living Allowance.

· Almost 30 per cent of 93 Fund clients have severe learning disabilities.

· 7,798 clients were receiving Extension Fund awards.

· Almost half of the cancellations of Extension Fund awards during the year were because the client had died. Another quarter were because of admission to residential care.


Background information about the Funds

The Independent Living Funds were set up as publicly financed trusts to support disabled people who choose to live in the community rather than in residential care.

For both Funds, awards are in the form of regular four-weekly payments to individuals and used to buy personal care or domestic assistances. Recipients may use care agencies or employ personal assistants but may not employ relatives who live in the same house.

The Extension Fund continues to pay awards to people who were clients of the original ILF, which was closed to new applicants at the end of March 1993. The 93 Fund was set up at that time to accept new applications from people who need more help than their local authority can provide.

A combined administration operates for the two Funds, with 119 staff in Nottingham and 74 self-employed Visiting Social Workers who carry out assessments throughout the UK.

93 Fund eligibility criteria

A successful applicant to the 93 Fund must meet the following criteria:

· Be at least 16 and under 66 years of age
· Receive the highest rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance (or the equivalent Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance) and be able to live independently in the community for at least six months
· Have savings/capital of less than £18,500 which includes the savings/capital of a partner, and an income that 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 (net of any charge) and be assessed as needing additional care.

The 93 Fund is able to pay up to a maximum of £395 a week, the Extension Fund up to £665 a week.

Trustees of the Funds:
Sydney Shore CBE (Chairman);
John Shepherd OBE (Vice-Chairman and Treasurer); Thomas Begg
Margaret Cooper; Anne Davies OBE; 
William Morrison CBE;
Dr Adrian Stokes OBE.

Chief Executive:
Mrs Elaine Morton

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