Newsletter for Disability Organisations April 2004
Newsletter for Disability Organisations
Customer Services Manager
What is the ILF?
The Independent Living Funds are two Government funded Trusts, set up
to provide financial help to severely disabled people who live in the
UK to enable them to access the care they need in order to remain
living independently in the community.
The Independent Living (1993) Fund is open to new applicants and
currently supports a caseload of 9500 people. The Independent Living
(Extension) Fund supports those people who received help from the
original Independent Living Fund, which closed in 1993, and currently
has a caseload of over 6000.
The Funds are discretionary Trusts created and funded by the Department
for Work and Pensions and Department for Social Development (Northern
Ireland) but operating at arms length from Government. They are
financed by cash limited grants-in-aid and managed by a Board of
independent Trustees appointed by the Secretary of State for Work and
Pensions. Their combined budget for 2003/2004 is over £194 million. The
Independent Living (1993) Fund works in conjunction with local
authority social services departments, helping to finance joint care
Why produce a newsletter specifically for Disability Organisations?
Trevor Chapman has recently been appointed as the Information &
Service Director – a new post created as a result of some
organisational changes designed to meet our new business aims,
particularly our relationship with local authorities and other outside
organisations, including key disability organisations. Trevor
previously worked as the Operations Director.
We already produce a newsletter for Social Services staff, disseminated
through our network of ‘Contact Officers’ within the local authorities
throughout the UK. We have also set up a User Group, which is currently
being extended in order to consult our users over our practices and
processes. We would now like to build up and develop our relationships
with other disability organisations such as yourselves, to ensure that
you are fully informed about the ILFs, are kept up to date with any
major changes, but perhaps more importantly to ensure that you know
that we welcome and encourage valuable feedback on the way we operate,
and how our relationship can be enhanced in the future. We have decided
that the best way to start this off is to produce a biannual newsletter
specifically for disability organisations.
We have also set up a formal channel for you to pass your comments to
us with the assurance that these will be considered at the correct
level, and that we will give you an appropriate response.
Given that this is the first ILF newsletter specifically for disability
organisations, we would especially welcome feedback as to what you feel
your organisation would find useful to be included in future editions
of this newsletter.
Any feedback about this and any other issues should be addressed to
myself (Jeff Macbeth – Customer Services Manager), either by post, fax
or telephone (see contact details) or by email: email@example.com
The Role of the Client Liaison Manager
The ILF wants to consult more widely with its clients. Part of the
reason for doing this is to find out whether we can improve the way we
deliver our service, as well as finding out what we are doing right.
As Client Liaison Manager I am responsible for getting feedback from
the people that use our fund and ensuring that we act on it. We consult
with ILF users in a number of ways:
The Client User Group
A group made up of actual ILF users meet up every two months to discuss
current issues. The meetings are chaired by a member of the group and
they also partly determine the agenda.
From April we will be issuing a questionnaire to all clients who have
gone through the application process. We aim to find out how people get
information about the ILF, whether they find it easy to apply, what
their experience of the assessment visit is, and whether the letters
they receive are simple to understand.
We hope to take the feedback from this questionnaire and see if there are areas for improvement.
As well as our Client User Group, we are building up contacts with a
wide variety of community groups, voluntary groups and organisations
representing disabled people. The aim is to talk to people who use our
service and find out what their experiences of the ILF are. We are also
staging our first “roadshow” in Glasgow (on May 25th at the Centre for
Independent Living) so that ILF users can talk to staff, get advice on
payroll and employment issues, and share experiences with other users
Race Equality Scheme
Another part of my remit is to find out whether there are aspects of
our processes and procedures that may exclude people with disabilities
from black and ethnic minority communities, prevent applications or
prevent people from getting the most benefit from our funding. So far I
have been trying to build links with groups representing BME
communities and the initial discussions have been very enlightening. We
want to find ways to encourage applications from all communities by
focusing our presentations, posters and literature to raise awareness
about the ILF in all communities.
If you would like to know more about any aspects of the ILF’s client liaison please get in touch with me:
Jon Duckworth, ILF, PO Box 7525, Nottingham NG2 4ZT. Tel: (0115) 945 0773 (direct line). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Client User Guide - Keeping Our Users Informed
Client Liaison Manager
The ILF has put together a series of leaflets as information for people who receive funding.
The User Guide contains 15 leaflets covering everything from the Funds’
eligibility criteria and how payments are calculated to what people
should do if they need more care and what changes they need to inform
the ILF about.
This guide is sent out to everyone who has just had an assessment
visit. It was put together with considerable input from the Client User
Group. As actual recipients of funding they were able to tell us what
information is most useful for them to know. Hopefully, all our users
have found this guide a great help.
Anyone with access to the internet can view the 15 leaflets in the User
Guide on the ILF website. To look at the Guide follow these steps:
1. Visit the Funds website http://www.irfs.org.uk
2. Click on General Information
3. Click on User Guide (Information Leaflets)
4. Click on whichever leaflet you wish to view from the index
The User Guide is intended primarily for our clients, but it contains a
lot of information that will be helpful to anyone interested in finding
out more about the ILF and how we work.
The ILF Website
Client Liaison Manager
Visit the ILF website: http://www.irfs.org.uk
The website is continually being improved and updated and features
information on how to make an application, how to fill in the
application form, details about the ILF eligibility criteria, and
current news and developments at the Funds.
The afore-mentioned User Guide is available to view, and there are also
Policy Guidance notes, answers to Frequently Asked Questions and
details of how to contact us.
There is large-print version of the site for people with visual
impairment, and the site can be read in some other languages (such as
Chinese, French and Spanish) although we are looking to translate it
into more languages in the future.
We see the ILF website as a vital part of our communication with our
users. Work is ongoing to make the website even better. If you have any
comments about the ILF website, please get in touch with:
Jon Duckworth, ILF. PO Box 7525, Nottingham NG2 4ZT. (0115) 945 0773. E-mail: email@example.com
Freedom of Information / The Publication Scheme
The ILF has produced a Publication Scheme. This sets out what kinds of
information held by the Funds is publicly available and in what
formats. The scheme has been produced as a requirement of the 2003
Freedom of Information Act. The scheme is to appear on our website
within the next month.
A copy of the Publication Scheme can be obtained by contacting me:
The Information Manager
PO Box 7525
Tel: (0845) 601 8815
Phone lines are in operation Monday - Thursday 9.00am to 4.30pm, Friday
9.00am to 4.00pm. Phones are closed from 2.00pm to 3.30pm on Thursdays
for staff training. The ILF telephone number is (0845) 601 8815.
General queries and contact should be made using firstname.lastname@example.org
You can write to the Funds at this address:
Independent Living Funds
PO Box 7525
(0115) 945 0945
(0115) 945 0946
Customer Services (0115) 945 0948
(0845) 601 8816
APPLICATIONS TO THE ILF - Who can apply and what can the funding be used for?
To be eligible for the 1993 Fund a person must:
- Be living in the UK
- Be at least 16 years old and under 66 years old
- Receive (or have an underlying entitlement to) the Highest Rate
Care Component of Disability Living Allowance or equivalent Attendance
- Receive support from their Local Authority Social Services
Department (or council with Social Services responsibility) to the
value of at least £200.00 per week
- Have capital of less than £18,500
- Be expected to live independently in the community for at least the next six months
Application forms can be obtained by ringing the ILF switchboard
number and asking for Customer Services. (The application form can also
be printed off the ILF website.)
ILF funding can be used to pay for the cost of employing personal
assistants or a care agency to provide personal and domestic care to
enable someone to live independently at home.