Closurse of Independent Living Fund

Paul Taylforth made this Freedom of Information request to Lancashire County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Lancashire County Council,

Following the new decision by the Government to close the ILF
(Independent Living Fund) on June 30th 2015 and devolve funding to
Local Authorities, please could you answer the following
questions.

1: Will monies transferred from the closure of the ILF to your
local authority be ring fenced to ILF recipients in your area? If
no decision has yet been taken, what is the process and timescale
for this happening?

2: Please could you state the process and timescale for meeting
with current ILF recipients to prepare personal care plans for 1st
July 2015 onwards (bearing in mind the assessments at the Transfer
Review visits only indicate desired outcomes and do not produce an
actual care package).

3: Will you be making any special dispensation for allowing ILF
users to continue to employ their current & in many cases long
standing carers of many years, bearing in mind some may be paid a
higher rate than what LA's may usually advise and be family
members
too?

Many Thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Taylforth

Freedom of Information, Lancashire County Council

Dear Mr Taylforth,

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email in which you request the disclosure of information under the provisions of the above Act.

The deadline date for issuing you with a full response is 9/10. We will endeavour to provide a response well in advance of this date, however, should we envisage any delays, or require more details from you, we will contact you immediately.

If you have any queries about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us, quoting ref 826.1219.

Yours sincerely,
On behalf of the Access to Information Team
Lancashire County Council
T: 01772 531116
www.lancashire.gov.uk

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Freedom of Information, Lancashire County Council

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Our reference: 826.1219

 

Dear Mr Taylforth,

 

Further to your application via 'whatdotheyknow.com' received by the
council on 11 September, we are now in a position to respond to your
enquiry regarding the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

 

1.    Will monies transferred from the closure of the ILF to your local
authority be ring fenced to ILF recipients in your area? If no decision
has yet been taken, what is the process and timescale for this happening?

No formal decision has yet been taken but a paper to Senior Leaders within
the local authority has been drafted in respect to the closure of the ILF
and transfer of monies to the Local Authority. A decision will be
available by November 2014.  However, the government’s position on how
local authorities manage their finances is clear. The ring-fencing of
funding prevents local authorities from meeting local needs in a flexible
and responsive way. The needs of ILF users may change over time and local
authorities are required to meet the care needs of all disabled people in
a consistent way. We understand that when assessed, ILF users may have
current care packages reduced. Local authorities may choose to manage any
changes to care packages in different ways, providing some transitional
protection where required, but this needs to be considered on a case by
case basis after a detailed assessment of user needs.

 

2.    Please could you state the process and timescale for meeting  with
current ILF recipients to prepare personal care plans for 1st  July 2015
onwards (bearing in mind the assessments at the Transfer  Review visits
only indicate desired outcomes and do not produce an  actual care
package).

Lancashire County Council meets personal social care needs for all
customers through a Personal Budget. This is an amount of money offered
following assessment/review that has confirmed eligibility for support.
The Support Plan confirms how these needs will be met. Lancashire County
Council in liaison with the Independent Living Fund (ILF) has been
undertaking joint reviews where possible with ILF and has confirmation
that at July 2014 over three quarters of the reviews have been completed. 
At these reviews Lancashire County Council will have confirmed an
"Estimated Budget" in relation to an individuals' needs. We refer to an
"Estimated Budget" because we think it is a reasonable amount of money to
meet needs.  Some people will not need the whole amount and others may
need more. The Estimated Budget might not be the same as the cost of any
care package currently in place for current recipients of ILF. Once the
complete information is available we will be in a position to confirm the
review process post transfer. ILF users may have current care packages
reduced but this will be confirmed on a case by case basis with
transitional protection where required.

Once the formal decision about the ring fencing of monies has been made, a
programme of review activity will be put in place and timescales
confirmed. It is likely that the reviews of customers whose total care
package (including their ILF award) is considerably above the "estimated
budget" will be given priority and that transitional arrangements will be
in place until the review confirming on going funding from 1 July 2015.

 

3.    Will you be making any special dispensation for allowing ILF  users
to continue to employ their current & in many cases long  standing carers
of many years, bearing in mind some may be paid a  higher rate than what
LA's may usually advise and be family  members  too?

Lancashire County Council promotes the use of Direct Payments and there is
clear policy and guidance in place around this.  Direct Payments are
monetary payments made by Council's directly to individuals who have been
assessed as having 'eligible needs' for certain social care services.  The
majority of people who are eligible for support to meet assessed social
care needs have a right to receive Direct Payments. Where a person lacks
mental capacity to consent to receiving Direct Payments Lancashire County
Council can appoint a 'Suitable Person' to receive and manage the Direct
Payments on their behalf.

Where in line with the authority's policy on Direct Payments and within
the constraints of the individual's personal budget, it would make
absolute sense for continuity of support to be maintained. However Direct
Payments should not be used to purchase services from a self-employed
personal assistant for personal care as advice from HMRC is that the terms
of engagement and the nature of the work undertaken by the worker would
not meet the criteria for self-employed status. Neither can a Direct
Payment be used to purchase the employment of relatives living in the same
household.

In terms of level of rates for personal assistants there is guidance
available to support costing a support plan to employ a Personal
Assistant. The intention is not to restrict how customers choose to use
their personal budget, but to help make sure there is enough money to
cover all the associated employers on costs when employing a Personal
Assistant (e.g. Employer’s National Insurance Contribution; Statutory
holiday entitlement; Statutory Redundancy costs; Annual Employer’s
Liability Insurance; On-going recruitment costs etc.)

 

A review will confirm any issues of alignment with Direct Payment Policy
and also seek to establish:

·         the person continues to meet LCC's eligibility criteria for
services

·         if there has been a change in needs or circumstances

·         to ensure the agreed outcomes in the support plan are being met

·         the direct payments are being managed appropriately

·         the person receiving the support remains in control

·         whether there has been a change in capacity

·         there is a robust contingency plan in place.

 

We trust that you are satisfied with the information provided. However, in
the event that you wish to complain about the manner in which your enquiry
has been handled, or want to request a review of a decision to withhold
information, you should write in the first instance to the Access to
Information Manager, Access to Information Team, Lancashire County
Council, PO Box 78, County Hall, Preston PR1 8XJ, or email
[1][Lancashire County Council request email].

 

If, after this stage, you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer
the matter to the Information Commissioner, whose contact details are as
follows:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone:    0303 123 1113

Website:         [2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/

 

If you have any queries regarding our response, or you require any
additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Vicky Austin

 

Access to Information Officer

Access to Information Team

Lancashire County Council

[3]www.lancashire.gov.uk

If you’re a carer for someone, we want to support you too. Find out more
about the help and support available from [4]Carers Lancashire.

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Dear Freedom of Information,

I notice you say that the Governments position on ring fencing is clear. However ive seen this FOI response from the DWP (Link Below) which does say that Local Authorities are free to ring fence this money if they choose to. Also from reading other requests to other Local Authorities it is clear that many of them will be ring fencing this money.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Yours sincerely,

Paul Taylforth

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