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Contact Officer Newsletter April 2005

Information Days

Normally we would have begun to consider the next round of information days. However, we are currently analysing the data that you supplied at the information days 2003/4. Those of you who did not attend were sent a questionnaire to complete at the end of 2004. Once this exercise is complete we will then decide how to proceed with any future information days. During the interim you are invited to contact Nottingham for any advise/support that you may need.

Requests for Fast Tracking an Application

I refer you to 4.2.3 of the Professional User Guide for details of fast tracking.

I have been asked to remind you that if a person qualifies for a fast track application and it is requested, please ensure that you are available, at short notice, for the joint assessment visit. Our Assessors have been experiencing difficulties in contacting social workers/care managers.

For fast track applications our Assessors are telephoned and verbally given information about the proposed visit. Written data is posted first class same day. Our Assessors are asked to telephone you as soon as possible to arrange the visit. When submitting the application please give details of how you can be contacted quickly. If you are not going to be available for the joint assessment visit please let us know who will be taking your place.

Ex Gratia Payments

Although we always aim to provide a high standard of service, sometimes we may fall short of expectations. When the Complaints And Review Manager upholds a complaint or issues a revised decision, often the only action we can take as a means of redress is to offer an apology. We understand that in some cases this may be inadequate and that further redress may be appropriate.

From February 2005, we are introducing an ex gratia payment scheme for a trial period of 6 months. This means that when the Complaints and Review Manager deals with a complaint or decision review, it will be routinely considered if the way we have dealt with something has caused gross inconvenience or embarrassment. If this is found to be the case, then we will consider making a fixed payment as a means of redress.

If we find that bad administration has caused gross inconvenience or embarrassment or we have been the cause of excessive and unwarranted delay, which has contributed towards the gross inconvenience or embarrassment, then a further fixed payment will be considered as a way of saying sorry.

If this also led to a financial loss, then a further payment will be considered to make up for this loss.

A review of the trial scheme will take place at the end of July. For further information, contact the Complaints and Review Manager, Avwiene Etefia.

Customer Service Update

In the previous newsletter we advised you that Customer Services had a new manager Paul Martin. Paul has settled in well and has begun the task of reviewing the structure of the team.

Contact Points

Robyn will be away from the office until later this year, please note the following contact points:

Lesley Berry 0115 945 0847
Contact Officer Support

Chris Priddle 0115 945 0844
Presentations/Training

Ian Lawrence 0115 945 0860
General Enquiries

Matt Harrison 0115 945 0754
Any of the above

Paul Martin 0115 945 0758
Team Manager

Email: funds@irfs.org.uk
General advice/information

Email: client.service@irfs.org.uk
ILF User specific information

Payments to LA’s as 3rd parties

There are occasions when an ILF award will be paid directly to a Local Authority. Typically, this happens when a client is unable to manage their own finances and there is no other viable third party available to accept payments on the client’s behalf.

When agreeing to this, the ILF asks that payments in respect of a client can be identified if a general account is used, and that there is an individual named representative of the Local Authority (other than the allocated Social Worker) who can be contacted about payments. Typically, the named representative is a member of the finance department and may well be the legal appointee.

The ILF is encountering problems when the applicant’s named representative does not sign the declaration on the reverse of our Payment Details form. The declaration establishes responsibility for administering the ILF award on behalf of our client.

Please note, the ILF is unable to make payments in these cases if the Local Authority is unable to find a representative willing to sign the declaration on the Payment Details form. It may also result in the eventual withdrawal of an ILF offer and closure of the case.

Letters of intent

There are occasions when applications to the ILF are preceded by a letter informing us of a Local Authority’s intention to make an application to the ILF. An example might be when a Local Authority needs to start a care package prior to a potential client becoming eligible for the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance.

If your Authority does use this method, please make some reference to the fact that a letter of intent has been sent when submitting the application.

Published by Lesley Berry

The Independent Living Funds is now closed 2016
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