0141 618 6844
0141 618 6436
21 November 2012
Mr Paul Taylforth
Director: Peter Macleod
By email to email@example.com
Dear Mr Taylforth,
Freedom of Information Request
Renfrewshire Council received your request for information and can supply the following
information in response.
Please could you let me know if you have responded to the Governments
consultation on the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
If you have, please could you provide me with your responses to the
questions within that consultation.
Please refer to Appendix 1 below.
I trust that this information meets with the details of your request however if you are
unhappy with the way in which the Council has dealt with your request, you are entitled to
require the Council to review its decision. A copy of the Council’s review procedures is
attached in Appendix 2.
Business Support Manager
Social Work Headquarters, Renfrewshire House, 3rd Floor, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1TZ
THE FUTURE OF THE INDEPENDENT LIVING FUND (ILF)
Response by Renfrewshire Council to the consultation on the
Future of the Independent Living Fund.
Background to the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body of the UK
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is governed by a board of Trustees. ILF supports
users to participate fully in society by paying for support over and above an initial level funded by
the Local Authority (LA). It is a national source of funding, assessed at a local level by assessors
from ILF, and paid directly to the user. Without the support of ILF most disabled people would
receive less support than they currently have due to LA eligibility criteria which may result in more
admissions to residential care. ILF when used alone or as a top up to essential support from L.A is
an essential resource to support disabled people’s rights to opportunities within society as non-
ILF supports around 19,000 users across the UK and 97p in every £1 of ILF money goes to the
user. 16% of people live in Scotland. ILF currently pay approximately £54,000,000 to users in
Scotland. Within Renfrewshire, there are currently 150 people who receive approximately £2
million of ILF funding per year.
The ILF is currently closed to new users and the Government propose to close the ILF completely
in 2015. The changes proposed will have a big impact on ILF users in Renfrewshire. ILF users
may be used to a level of care which cannot be maintained currently with the Local Authority
eligibility criteria. RENFREWSHIRE COUNCIL CONSULTATION RESPONSE:
Do you agree with the Government’s proposal that the care and support needs of current ILF
users should be met within the mainstream care and support system, with funding devolved to
local government in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales? This would
mean the closure of the ILF in 2015.
There are many concerns regarding the closure of ILF and the proposal that the care and support
needs of current ILF users should be met within the mainstream care and support system:
Securing enough money for Scotland
• Social care provided by Local Authorities is a devolved issue and the Scottish Government
control the budget. This means the UK Government cannot make decisions about social
care, or how money is spent in Scotland.
• The ILF is a UK wide body. This means that if the ILF closes in 2015, the money will not
come directly to Local Authorities in Scotland. Instead, the UK Government would give
money to the Scottish Government, in the “Block Grant”. It will then be up to the Scottish
Government and the people of Scotland, to determine what they do with the money.
• It is important that the amount of money that comes to Scotland for ILF users reflects the
current and future demand for its use. The money that comes through the grant is decided
on a formula called the Barnett Formula. This looks at the number of people in Scotland,
compared to the number of people in the UK altogether. Scotland make up approx. 8.5% of
the UK population but 16% of the ILF money is used in Scotland. This means that if the UK
Government work out how much of the ILF money should come to Scotland, based on the
Barnett Formula of approx. 8.5%. There will be a shortfall / deficit in Scotland for existing
The difference between ILF and LA eligibility criteria
ILF is a nationally administered resource intended to support independent living. The ILF
assessment and eligibility criteria take a preventative approach, which enables individuals to
participate fully in society which is over and above the level of support offered by Local Authorities.
If there is no ring fencing for existing ILF service users, then Local Authorities would have to
assess under their current eligibility criteria which would result in only basic needs being met.
• ILF service users have had their needs met according to ILF eligibility criteria for many
years. These recipients have been able to use this funding to meet their care needs and
aspirations e.g. employment, participation in the community and family life. If ILF do not
take into account the impact of Local Authorities eligibility criteria, the resultant change in
quality of life will have a detrimental effect on the health and well being of these individuals,
and that of their family and/or carers
• If packages are reduced due to LA eligibility criteria, there would be consequences for
personal assistant employers and employees. These changes could result in reduction in
hours, which may result in redundancies and additional employers costs and also a funding
deficit for employers’ costs after 2015.
• On a positive aspect, a single review of support needs would be required thus reducing the
number of reviews for both Social Work and the service user.
What are the key challenges that ILF users would face in moving from joint ILF/Local Authority to
sole Local Authority funding of their care and support needs? How can any impacts be mitigated? Response
If the Funds are transferred and care and support needs are funded solely based on Local
Authorities assessment, there could be a range of impacts;
• Local Authorities may be bound to apply their own assessment and eligibility criteria to
reviews of support unless there was built in protection on transfer. This raises the question
of inequity of service provision for people who cannot now apply for ILF.
• Services which are currently funded by ILF may not be provided by the Local Authority e.g.
domestic care, assistance to attend social/community events. If packages are reviewed
using Local Authority assessment and eligibility, many individuals could lose these services
unless ILF funding is ring fenced to ILF users
• There are many support packages where ILF users are employing relatives. This could
potentially cause some difficulty when these packages transfer to the Local Authority as
relatives can only be employed in exceptional circumstances under Direct Payment rules.
• If packages are reduced due to the application of Local Authority criteria there would be a
consequential effect for employers and personal assistants as this could lead to reduction in
hours. There is a possibility of redundancy for some people, as a result of this, with
• As a result of ILF funding some users and family members are able to maintain
employment. If packages are reduced this could impact on their ability to continue in
employment and could have a wider impact on the local economy.
• Benefits Appointees can’t be paid a Direct Payment by Local Authorities in Scotland. This
may result in the need for a Guardianship application for individuals who lack capacity to
maintain their current support. This can be a lengthy and complex process therefore
preparation is needed prior to implementation in 2015. There may also be a cost to the
Local Authority to achieve this. Additionally families may not be willing to take on the role of
legal guardianship since this places additional burden on them in terms of administration
• The timescales for transfer would be critical. Current protection for service users is only
guaranteed until 2015 but changes for users and their families will need to be phased to
enable adjustment to new care packages. ILF was set up to maintain people in the
community and increase independence and people have become very dependent on the
funding and what it provides. If funding is to be reduced following re-assessment there
could be risks to the health and wellbeing of users and their families because of changes to
• An Alternative Solution may be maintaining ILF with reduced functions such as monitoring,
reviews, care management being taken on by the LA, but the payments still coming from
the central body and being paid directly to the service user. Another option is to set up ILF
as a charitable trust with current funding protected. Management of Funds by Centres for
Inclusive Living could be one option, although this may not fit with their remit. If the above
was not possible, then ring fenced funding would allow existing users to stay on their
current packages, and may save some of the issues LA’s have around managing the ILF
funding but doesn’t address associated costs that may transpire from it.
What impact would the closure of the ILF have on Local Authorities and the provision of care and
support services more widely? How could any impacts be mitigated? Response
The effect of closing the ILF on Renfrewshire Council and on care and support:
• Renfrewshire receives approximately £2 million and would require this amount come to the
authority, in full, in order to avoid any impact on care and support.
• There will be resource implications for Local Authorities if they take over administration of
the funds unless current administration costs are also transferred to Local Authorities.
• Renfrewshire would have to work within current legislation and statutory guidance in their
application of assessment, eligibility, and resource allocation in order to ensure an equitable
approach to service provision.
• Individuals were able to access funding for more substantial care packages than might
have been possible without ILF funding. The application of current eligibility criteria
alongside current budget cuts means that, without the support of the ILF, many users will
not receive the same level of support.
• If packages are reduced due to Local Authorities eligibility criteria, there would be additional
consequences for individual and family members such as losing their ability to go out to
work, lack of community involvement and increased social isolation.
• The impact of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment which replaces
Disability Living Allowance is not clear. The consequences for individuals and the Council
are difficult to predict but the Council will be expected to guide people through the changes
and ensure that support needs continue to be met.
• There are still a number of people over 65 years in receipt of ILF in Scotland, who are also
entitled to free personal care. It is unclear how this will impact on transfer funding when the
service user contribution no longer applies. How will Local Authorities pick up the short fall
• The rate paid by ILF may be different from the Local Authority rate and this may affect
people employing workers. Local Authorities may not be able to pay different rates for the
same level of support. If Renfrewshire’s rate is lower than the ILF rate there will be an
impact on PA terms and conditions as a result of this reduction.
• An effective means of mitigating the impact of the closure of ILF may be ring fenced funding
along with a transition period to allow Local Authorities time after 2015 to review and adjust
care packages (if necessary) in line with Local Authority eligibility criteria and Scottish
What are the specific challenges in relation to Group 1 users? How can the Government ensure
this group are able to access the full range of Local Authority care and support services for which
they are eligible? Response
Some of these service users are not within the current social work system. Group 1 users did not
require any Social Work recommendation. ILF does not disclose the identity of these service
• What would be required for Social Work to assist these service users with the transition to
Local Authority funding?
• There may be consent issues for Group 1 users. The Independent Living Fund needs to
engage with these service users early in preparation for transfer in 2015. This includes
obtaining consent to share information with the local authority, and to consider what are the
implications if an individual refuses consent to share information i.e. would ILF continue to
make payments to these individuals as a separate arrangement?
• ILF should check whether Group 1 users have capacity to consent or whether this has been
managed by a benefits appointee. If they are employing workers the transfer and
management may be more complex e.g. are they employing relatives, are they compliant
with employment law etc?
How can DWP, the ILF and Local Authorities best continue to work with ILF users between now
and 2015? How can the ILF best work with individual Local Authorities if the decision to close the
ILF is taken? Response
Service users are concerned about the uncertainty around ILF, and will need reassurance and
support to prepare for changes ahead. Service users have been guaranteed current funding until
2015. ILF would need to start working with Local Authorities as soon as possible, to create an
action plan to allow the transition to take place with minimal disruption.
• The exit strategy must be shared at an early stage. How can this be influenced by users,
local authorities and the Scottish Government? What are the timescales likely to be for
closure and have these been considered in the context of the impacts for all stakeholders?
• Communication with Local Authorities regarding events for ILF service users must be
better. If Local Authorities are to be able to support and fund service users, it would be
helpful to know more about the service user’s perspective in all of this. Some service users
may need support to take part in the consultation process, and better communication
between ILF and Local Authorities will assist with this.
• ILF needs to be involved with LA’s and service users in a post-consultation strategy. What
is the DWP role – especially in relation to the changes to welfare benefits and the
emergence of the Personal Independence Payment?
• Local events may be needed to guide service users through the process of closure, and to
engage with service users and local authorities to minimise the impact. Will there be an
opportunity for ILF service users in each authority to meet with someone from ILF?
• Clarification of the role of ILF assessors is required. What is the current approach to ILF
review and how is this likely to change? There is concern that ILF assessors will begin to
make cuts in line with Local Authority eligibility criteria before closure of the fund. If this is
done too quickly it could lead to a range of problems e.g. employment responsibilities,
ability to adapt to reductions in support for users and for carers,
people over 65 years may
be at particular risk if packages are altered abruptly.
• Will an accessible communication strategy be developed to ensure all users can engage in
the change process? Some individuals may need advocacy to support them through the
process – how will this be funded and managed?
• ILF funding has been guaranteed to service users until 2015 therefore the organisation of a
further transition period and Implementation Fund which will enable Local Authorities to
facilitate the engagement of social workers with an in-depth knowledge to carry out reviews
and manage the transition should be considered.
The ILF officers could stay on during a transition period after 2015 to jointly review each service
user along with the LA worker to resolve any issues, and taking into account the Local Authorities
eligibility criteria, Adults with Incapacity Act, to ensure packages meet LA care quality standards,
and also have sufficient funds to adhere to statutory employment law.
ILF have a duty for all service users up to 2015. On this basis, ILF have the responsibility to
inform and consult with service users regarding all the changes and implications of the
Governments decision to withdraw ILF. Why the ILF works so well
For many disabled people, practical assistance includes care and support. If this
assistance is put in place, then they can begin to access their full potential and fully
participate in society. ILF Funding for such support is a fundamental tool to enable
independent living to become a reality for disabled people.
ILF has been crucial in funding social care and support for many years. It is used to top up
packages of support from local authorities to provide the extra costs for people who have high
support needs. It provides a flexible support system after a co-produced assessment, with the
funding administrated through a central source. Therefore this ensures decisions to offer funding
are based on need, and it is provided as a flexible cash payment, controlled by the individual.
It has been suggested that the attraction of the ILF is that it is provided as a direct payment and
that since Local Authorities administer social care and direct payments, they should be
responsible for users of ILF, from 2015. Whilst the flexibility and control associated with the ILF as
a direct payment is a major benefit ,many value the fact that it is nationally administered, flexible,
assessed independently and supports the principles of independent living.
THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) provides a statutory right of
access to information held by Scottish public authorities. Renfrewshire Council is committed to
freedom of information compliance. The 2002 Act entitles an applicant who is dissatisfied with the
way in which the Council has dealt with a freedom of information request to require the Council to
review its actions and decisions in relation to that request. This procedure is referred to in the Act
as a “requirement for review”. The Review Process
Should you wish a review to take place you must:-
Lodge a requirement for review within 40 working days after:
the date of the Notice refusing your request;
on receipt by you of a Fees Notice; or
the expiry of the 20 working day time limit in which the Council is obliged to comply with
your original request
The requirement for review must be in writing or in another permanent form. This means that it
should be in a format which is capable of being used for subsequent reference e.g. a recording
made on an audio or video tape.
The requirement for review must include your address for correspondence, a description of your
original request and the reasons why you are dissatisfied. This should be addressed to the Head of
Legal & Democratic Services:
Head of Legal & Democratic Services
Department of Finance & Corporate Services
Renfrewshire House, Floor 1
0141 618 7360
The review will be fair and impartial and will be decided by the Head of Legal & Democratic
Services. You will receive notice of the result of your review within 20 working days after receipt by
the Council of your request.
The Council will explain how it has reviewed the original decision and will provide a Statement of
Reasons for its findings.
The Council may :
Confirm the decision complained of, with or without such modifications as it thinks
Substitute the original decision with a different decision; or
Reach a decision, where the complaint is that no decision on a freedom of information
request was reached.
The Council is not obliged to comply with a request for review if :
The requirement for review is vexatious; or
The original request to which the requirement relates was vexatious or repeated.
You may withdraw your requirement for review at any time before the decision is made by written
notice to the Director of Corporate Services.
Right of Appeal
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the review, you have the right to appeal the Council’s
The Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS
Tel. No. 01334 464610
Fax No: 01334 464611
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Work Headquarters, Renfrewshire House, 3rd Floor, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1TZ