From 30 June 2015, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will close, Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning announced today (6 March 2014), and funding will be transferred to local authorities and the devolved administrations.
Current users of the fund – which was first set up as a transitional arrangement more than 20 years ago – will then receive support through the mainstream adult social care system.
Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said:
Our understanding of disabled people has changed over the past 20 years, and along with it there have been significant developments in how we provide social care to disabled people so they can live independent lives.
We continue to spend £50 billion a year on disabled people and the services provided to them, and as part of the government’s long-term economic plan, we want to make sure that disabled people are given the support that allows them to fulfil their potential.
There are approximately 18,000 ILF users across the UK. The fund was permanently closed to new applicants in December 2010, and the government consulted on the best way forward for existing users in 2012.
Since then, DWP has carried out a new equality analysis to enable ministers to make a new decision about the future of the fund.
Nearly 1.6 million disabled people in England alone already receive support through local authority social care arrangements. In future ILF users in England will receive all their support under the same system.
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide how ILF users in their areas will be supported.
The government, local authorities, the devolved administrations and the ILF will work closely with disabled people to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for current ILF users.
All disabled people, including those transferring from the ILF, will continue to be protected by a safety net that guarantees disabled people get the support they need.
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