Give your views on the ILF
Tuesday 21 August 2012
The government has launched a consultation on the future of the Independent Living Fund
Minister for disabled people Maria Miller announced the launch of a UK-wide public consultation on the future of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), in July.
The ILF provides financial support to severely disabled people, on a discretionary basis, to enable them to remain in their homes, rather than move to residential care. But, in December 2010, the government announced that it would close the fund after 2015, because it was 'financially unsustainable'. The funding was closed to new applicants in 2010.
The government is now inviting views of ILF users, their carers, families, local authorities and other interested parties on the proposal to close the ILF and alternative ways to meet their support needs. In England, it is proposed that local authorities take on the funding and responsibility for ILF users’ care and support. In Northern Ireland, the responsibility would be moved over to the mainstream health and social care system operated by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
“The ILF is a lifeline which supports around 20,000 people to live independently – something many of us take for granted,” says Mencap’s senior campaigns and policy officer, Rossanna Trudgian. “Without this funding the quality of life for these people is severely affected.
“It is vital that we share our experiences of ILF with the government, as we must make sure they have fully considered the impact of their reforms. The government needs to understand how this could affect the lives of people with a learning disability and their family and be aware of the potential dangers.”
The consultation is open until 10 October 2012. The government will consider the future of the ILF, alongside the wider changes proposed in the Department of Health’s social care white paper, ‘Caring for our Future – reforming care and support’.