In this section
Newsletter for Disability Organisations August 2004
The Independent Living Fund aims to support people with disabilities so they can live independently at home, rather than in residential care. The Fund makes payments to people with disabilities so that can afford to employ personal assistants or an agency to provide the support they need to remain at home.
The Independent Living Fund is actually made up of two funds: the Extension Fund (which makes payments to people who applied before 31 March 1993) and the 93 Fund which makes payments to those who applied after 1 April 1993 and is open to new applications.
Details of the 93 Fund’s eligibility criteria for new applications is given on the back page of this newsletter.
The Independent Living Fund is based in Nottingham and has in the region of 160 people working at its office. In addition there are over 80 self-employed assessors with a social work background who carry out the assessment visits. The Funds also use a network of Contact Officers within Local Authorities across the UK to help disseminate information.
This newsletter is especially for organisations that support and represent disabled people because we think it is important that you are aware of what the Funds have to offer and are kept up to date about developments and changes. We also seek to develop our relationships with your organisations and value the feedback you can give us from your direct contact with the people who already use the Funds and people who could benefit in the future.
Please feel free to comment on any of the items in this newsletter or any other issues you may have about the Independent Living Funds. Details of how to contact the Funds are on the back page.
The Independent Living Funds Website
There is a wealth of information on the website. Currently we are reviewing both the look and the content to make it even better. Here is an overview of the type of information you can find there that could actually help you with your own work:
The 15 leaflets in the User Guide are all on the web. These are the same leaflets that are sent to our users following their assessment visit. They cover everything from general information about the Funds to details of how payments are worked out, advice on employing personal assistants, how the Funds treat capital and savings, the review process and how to request an increase from us. These leaflets were put together with great help from our Client User Group (people who use the Funds) and the information is presented in a clear and easy to follow format.
Professionals’ User Guide
Also available on the web, this reads like a larger, more in-depth and technical version of the User Guide. Designed by our Customer Services team primarily for Social Workers and other professionals, it details the processes and procedures the Funds use to calculate financial offers and awards. Both the User Guide and the Professionals’ User Guide are updated regularly to ensure the information is correct and accurate and in line with current policy and procedure.
User Profile Analysis
For anyone who is interested in finding out about who is accessing the Funds the new, improved analysis on the website can now offer a breakdown of our client caseload in terms of:
The current User Profile analysis (recorded 30 June 2004) shows that the Funds support a total caseload of 16,531 users. The 93 Fund supports 10,497 and the Extension Fund 6,034. In addition at that date there were 996 applications in progress and 757 offers of financial assistance waiting to be taken up.
The other breakdowns give a greater insight into our client base. To meet the provisions of the Race Relations Act 2000 we now invite applicants to complete a questionnaire about their ethnic group. From this we at least have partial information with which to provide analysis based on ethnicity.
We also think it is useful for support groups and organisations such as yourselves to have a breakdown of our client base by disability. For example, the most recent analysis shows that on 30 June 2004 there were 4,803 users with a severe learning disability.
The analysis also shows how many users we have in each Local Authority area, offering a breakdown of the geographical distribution of the Funds. We are currently collecting information from the 2001 Census and will use this to provide comparative figures proportional to population in the near future.
We are very interested to know what you think of this User Profile Analysis and welcome comments. We want to know how useful it is - and if there is other information we could provide that we don’t already. See the back page for details of how to get in touch.
To visit the Independent Living Funds website: http://www.irfs.org.uk
Out And About
The Publication Scheme
Complaints and Reviews
The Funds have appointed a Complaints and Review Manager (Avwiene Etefia). If a user is unhappy with a decision the Funds have made or wishes to complain about the service they have received they should contact the office and explain their situation. Their request will be dealt with by Avwiene (or someone higher if appropriate). Just so Avwiene doesn’t get too down-hearted, he also wants to hear from people who think they have received good service! Tel: (0115) 945 0736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Annual Report will be published in September. The report looks at the progress the Funds have made over the last year in achieving our business aims. It will also be available to view on the website. Check next month for updates.
Also from next month we will be posting consultation documents on the website. People will be invited to comment on various aspects of policy.
Eligibility Criteria - Who can apply?
To be eligible for the 1993 Fund a person must:
Application forms can be obtained by ringing the ILF switchboard and asking for Customer Services. The form can also be downloaded from the Funds’ website.
What Can The Funding Be Used For?
The Funds provide an individual with a financial award they can use to purchase the personal assistance they need. They can choose to employ a care agency or private carers or to use self-employed workers. The Fund is intended to pay for personal and domestic care (such as bathing, toileting, washing, dressing, cooking, laundry, shopping and cleaning) but can also be used for assistance needed when not at home (for instance when going out to the cinema or theatre, leisure or sporting activities, visiting a place of worship, and sometimes in the workplace or an educational establishment).
The Fund can also pay for the cost of advertising and recruiting personal assistants, employers’ Liability Insurance, Tax and National Insurance contributions for privately-employed carers, payroll, holiday pay for carers and some additional costs for live-in carers.
How To Contact Us
By Phone: (0845) 601 8815
Write to us at:
Fax: (0115) 945 0945 / (0115) 945 0946
Let Us Know What You Think...
Comments about the content of this newsletter should be made to: Jon Duckworth, Client Liaison Manager. Tel: (0115) 945 0773 / Email: email@example.com - or by writing to the above address.
“ILF funding has made it possible for my daughter to remain at home and
for me to have excellent help from the carers. I wish to express my
appreciation for all the wonderful help and the courtesy and
understanding of your staff.”