ILF Scotland

Independent Living Fund Re-Opens to New Applicants

Post Date: 3 May 2024

From Monday 29 April 2024, the Independent Living Fund re-opened to new applicants for the first time since 2010, delivering on a key commitment made in the Scottish Government’s 2023 to 2024 Programme for Government.

Up to 1,000 additional disabled people with the most complex needs will now be able to access the Fund, which has re-opened after 14 years. The fund supports people to have greater choice over their social care and support with many recipients choosing to pay for personal assistants to assist them in leading more active, independent lives..

Independent Living Fund Scotland Chief Executive Officer Peter Scott OBE said:

“We are delighted that the Independent Living Fund is once again open to new applications in Scotland.

“We understand the significance of the decision to reopen the Fund, which in the first year alone will enable up to 1,000 disabled people to access the support they need, helping them to overcome the barriers to independent living they face every day.

“In preparation for re-opening, we have spent a lot of time listening to disabled people, their organisations and other key stakeholders, through a co-production process. Our objective was to re-open the Fund in a way that provides the best opportunity to maximise its impact for those who need it most.

“Today marks a significant step for ILF Scotland as we continue our work to positively impact the lives of many disabled people across Scotland in the years ahead.”

Dr Jim Elder-Woodward OBE, Chair of the ILF Scotland Advisory Group, said:

“As a recipient of ILF Scotland funds, I am delighted that the Scottish Government has decided to reopen the Fund to new people, for I know the benefits this will accrue to the many it will now be able to support. 

“I was also a member of the Advisory Group which helped Derek Feeley draft his report of The Independent Review of Adult Social Care; one of its recommendations was to reopen the ILF. This was because ILF Scotland’s governance, operation, and the inclusion of its service users, reflected the Review’s description of the purpose of social care support.  

“Within this purpose, taken from the point of view of the service recipient, one finds such terms as ‘a life of choice and control’, ‘active citizenship’, ‘human rights’, ‘independent living’, ‘wellbeing’ and ‘equity’.  ILF Scotland recognises such terms in its work with disabled people. Therefore, it, itself, can be recognised as a purpose-led organisation. In so being and doing, it empowers its recipients to increase their agency, to have real choice and control over their richer and more purpose-led lives.

“I am therefore delighted the Scottish Government has recognised the true value of independent living and the life-transforming potential of ILF Scotland.  I truly hope that the seeds of this purpose-led organisation can germinate within the development of the wider proposed National Care Service.” 

Applications to the re-opened fund should be submitted by local authority social work departments on behalf of disabled people in Scotland. We have issued guidance and information to all local authorities to assist them with this process.

When submitting an application, the local authority will need to make sure that a potential recipient meets the following Access Principles:

  • The person lives in Scotland.
  • They are aged 16 years or over at the time of application.
  • They access Self-Directed Support.
  • They receive a net weekly budget from Social Work of at least £800 per week.

All submitted applications will be assessed by ILF Scotland. The maximum award that ILF Scotland is able to pay is £330 per week. Any funding awarded by ILF Scotland will be additional and complementary to the statutory funding provided by a person’s Local Authority.

Individuals who meet the access principles outlined above and would like to consider applying to the fund, should contact their local authority directly. The relevant contact details for each local authority can be found here.

More information about the re-opened fund can be found on our dedicated Re-Opening ILF webpages.

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