In this section

Minutes of the Client User Group Meeting 28 July 2004

1. Matters Arising

1.1 Minutes

It was agreed that while names should be removed from the minutes that appear on the website, actual group members should be able to see who attended the meeting on their own hard copy of the minutes.

1.2 Annual Report

The ILF Annual Report is due in August. The next issue of the User Newsletter should be issued in September to tie in with that.

1.3 Hidden Costs

The “hidden costs” of employing personal assistants was discussed in the previous meeting. It was explained that the details of the discussion had been reported to the ILF’s policy team and they would be looking at this information in due course as part of their work.

1.4 Flexibility Of ILF Awards

Comments were made that while the general understanding of ILF four-weekly payments is that they can be used flexibly as long as monies are not accumulated, some group members have experienced ILF staff telling them that this constituted a misuse of ILF funding. Action Point: remind staff of “policy” with regard to how payments may or may not be used.

1.5 CUG Leaflets

Next time the Client User Guide information leaflets are reviewed there ought to be involvement from the User Group.

1.6 Information

The group said it would be useful to have some basic leaflets (and perhaps a bookmark-style information guide) containing phone numbers and website details that they could distribute themselves to interested groups, organisations and people. At present there is a lack of this type of material at the ILF and part of the Information and Services action plan is to produce new leaflets. Action Point: Client Liaison Manager to produce/collect information leaflets etc. that the User Group can have.

1.7 Inland Revenue Research Project

The group had asked for an update on the research project that had been carried out by the Inland Revenue and which had involved consultation with the group. The Information and Service Director had chased this up and was told they would look into it and get back to us at a later date.

1.8 Time Sheets

Following on from the last meeting’s discussion about the possible production and implementation of standard ILF time-sheets for users to record details of care employed, it was still undecided who should take this work forward and how best to implement such a thing. The group will be updated when there is further news.

2. Trustee Meeting

The Chair told the group about her participation in the Trustee Meeting. 5 out of the 6 Trustees were present as well as representatives from the Department of Work and Pensions. The Chair told the group that the Trustees were impressed with the work the group has done so far, with the success of the User Guide and with the skills and diversity within the group. The Chair had spoke about the development of the group in the future (for instance the possibility of regional groups, other ways for people to contribute to the discussion). It was agreed that future reviews of the User Group would be in March to coincide with the Trustee Meeting held in Nottingham (April/May). This would make it easier for the Chair to attend. Action Point: Client Liaison Manager to copy the Chair’s report on the Trustee meeting for the other group members.

3. Website Development and User Newsletter

Discussed the current website development and what could be done to encourage more interaction with the Client User Group. Ideas that were talked about:

  • To give a full page in the Newsletter encouraging comments and feedback on agenda points etc. (particularly issues around communicating with the ILF and using ILF).
  • Setting up system allowing postal and email contributions to User Group discussions (via website for example).
    Action Point: Client Liaison Manager to take these suggestions forward.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

One idea for the User Newsletter has been a page devoted to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The group were asked before the meeting to come up with a list of FAQs. They came up with the following:

  • Can I use my ILF award flexibly?
  • Can I pay my carers whilst I’m on holiday?
  • How do I qualify for ILF?
  • How do I notify the ILF of changes/request an increase/advise of a decrease?
  • Who can you talk to about the ILF?
  • What are my responsibilities as an employer?
  • What do I do if my personal assistants are sick?
  • Where can I get emergency support?
  • What happens if I go to hospital?
  • Can I pay maternity pay for my carers?

Action Point: Client Liaison Manager to answer (some of) these questions in forthcoming newsletters. FAQs also appear on the website.

5. One Cog...

The group had been invited to talk about various aspects involved in setting up and day-to-day running of a care package. They discussed the following:

  • DLA, Mobility (may have had assessments)
  • Applying for Income Support
  • Physical/Occupational Assessments
  • Equipment assessments
  • Welfare Rights Officer’s involvement
  • Social Worker/Care Manager involvement
  • Drs, consultants, hospitals
  • Voluntary societies (fill in forms to get membership or funding)
  • Every 2 years –reassessment by Direct Payments
  • Day centres (can involve means testing)
  • Transport
  • Opening bank accounts; getting appointee
  • Recruitment/training of personal assistants
  • Monitoring forms (Direct Payments)
  • Public liability insurance
  • Car and house insurance
  • Social Services care assessments
  • Financial assessments
  • Accountants/Payroll
  • Inland Revenue
  • Access To Work
  • Working Tax Credits
  • All manner of paperwork

The discussion highlighted the sometimes overwhelming amount of work that can be involved in being an employer. The Information and Service Director explained that one use for this type of information is in putting together disability awareness training.

6. Any Other Business

6.1 Payment Assurance

The Payment Assurance manager is working on a project until December, looking at all aspects of payment security. She wants to talk to all stakeholders (including Client User Group) to get their views on pay security issues and also look at the practical implications of security measures we may put in place. It was agreed that the Payment Assurance manager may come to the next meeting.

6.2 Next Meeting

The date for the next meeting is 22 September 2004.

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