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202212 - Newsletter - December 2022

Type of document: Newsletters
Cover image showing woman and her son holding hands. At the top of the cover is the ILF Scotland logo and the words "We also support independent living in Northern Ireland". In a purple quote graphic in the centre of the page are the words "ILF Scotland Newsletter December 2022". At the bottom of the page is a link to the website

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Published: December 12, 2022

Northern Ireland


Transition Fund

Award success for ILF Scotland

The national charity for working parents and carers, Working Families, has named ILF Scotland as one of the top 10 family-friendly employers in the UK for the fourth time, highlighting our organisation’s flexible and family-friendly approach to work.

ILF Scotland’s Chief Operating Officer, Harvey Tilley, said: “ILF Scotland’s overall aspiration is to make independent living a reality for all disabled people. By giving our staff choice and control, we enable
them to give their best, and in turn, deliver even better outcomes for disabled people.”

Read more about this in the News section of our website

Scottish Women's Awards 2022

Susan Douglas-Scott CBE, the Chair of ILF Scotland’s Board, won the Inspirational Leader category at the fourth Scottish Women’s Awards. Congratulations to Susan and all the other winners.

New-look website

We have revamped our website at We have worked hard to make the website more modern and as accessible as possible, but would welcome your feedback on how we might improve further so please contact us with any comments.

If you need help to access any content, if you can’t find a document you are looking for, or if you need
a document in a different format, please let us know and we will help.

Review visits re-start

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, health and social care services are slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels. At ILF Scotland, we are carrying out our in-person review visits again. Some recipient reviews may be a little later than normal, so please bear with us. Please get in touch with us if you need any assistance prior to your review.

When it’s time for your ILF review, we will contact you by letter and one of our Assessors will then be in touch to arrange a suitable time and date for a visit. They will also contact your Health and Social Care Partnership or Trust and invite them to the meeting to talk about any changes to your support arrangements.

If someone else manages the money we pay you (the Award Manager), it is important they attend the visit too. ILF Scotland’s “Your Responsibilities” booklet explains the information that will be discussed at the meeting. You can find this booklet on our website, and we will send you a copy when
we write to you.

Our Assessor will wear a mask and will wash their hands before entering your home. They will not ask to use your toilet during the visit and will not accept hospitality, such as drinks or food.

If you would prefer, we can complete reviews using video calls. Please discuss this with your assessor when they contact you. If you have any questions, please get in touch by calling 0300 200 2022 or

Managing an ILF Scotland award

An Award Manager is someone who manages an ILF Scotland award. This can be the fund recipient, or someone appointed to manage the award on the recipient’s behalf. For example, someone with Power of Attorney / Financial Guardianship / Controllership / Benefits Appointee / Third Party (a family member or management organisation) / Social Work.

Award Managers are responsible for:

  • making sure that ILF Scotland funding is used only in the way agreed with us to achieve identified independent living outcomes
  • informing ILF Scotland of significant changes in the recipient’s life that might affect ILF Scotland funding
  • ensuring safe and effective recruitment processes when appointing Personal Assistants
  • being present at any ILF Scotland arranged review
  • keeping records that confirm that ILF Scotland funding has been spent on the independent living outcomes agreed with us.

If you directly employ your Personal Assistants, you will need to keep records for the last six years. If you use a payroll or financial management agency to manage ILF Scotland funding, we need to see a statement of the account from the agency that shows at least the last six months of activity.

Our Assessors will expect to see these records when they carry out your review visit.

Employers' National Insurance Contributions

The amount of National Insurance contributions an employer must make depends on how much their employee(s) earn. You can find further information here:

Employers can claim up to a maximum £5,000 of National Insurance Contributions through an ‘Employment Allowance’ if:

  • they employ several PAs
  • their total maximum amount of National Insurance Contributions exceeds £5,000 per tax year (this amount may change in future years)
  • they have an Employer National Insurance Contribution bill of less than £100,000 in the previous tax year, and
  • they are claiming against Class 1 National Insurance.

Employers should contact HMRC or their Payroll Company for more information.

For ILF Scotland recipients who use a payroll company, the company will apply Employer's National Insurance Allowance on an employer’s behalf and will automatically use the £5,000 allowance up first before the employer has anything to pay.

If an employer’s National Insurance contribution exceeds £5000 in a full tax year, ILF Scotland can contribute to the amount above £5000, on a discretionary basis. To consider this, we need to see the annual statement from HMRC. Please see our Employer Support Information Note for more information.

Cost of living support

Rising costs can have a significant and disproportionate impact on disabled people and those who care for them. You may be eligible for benefits or schemes to help with rising bills.

If you live in Northern Ireland, check out advice and information on NI Direct:

The Scottish Government has launched a website, providing useful links. Visit

Citizens’ Advice Scotland has a Money Map tool to help you. See

You can also look out for advice and assistance on your local Council’s website. Some public bodies are introducing initiatives such as setting up “warm spaces” for people facing problems heating their homes.

ILF Scotland Recipient Contribution

The maximum amount of personal contribution any recipient pays towards the cost of their ILF Scotland funded support should be £43 per week. We do have the discretion to waive, in part or in full, this contribution in circumstances of hardship, which might include:

  • terminal illness (full waiver will apply)
  • disability related costs
  • costs related to the care of children
  • any overlap with Health and Social Care Partnership charging to the recipient’s detriment

If you are unfortunately diagnosed with a terminal illness, please forward confirmation from a suitable medical professional e.g. letter from your consultant confirming the diagnosis, and we will waive any contribution in full.

The current cost of living crisis is making life difficult and disproportionately so for disabled people. You may be struggling to pay your contribution due to financial hardship because of increased costs related specifically to your disability. Please write or email us to explain this and we will consider waiving part or all of your contribution.

Hospital Admission

When a recipient goes into hospital and their stay extends beyond 28 days, they lose entitlement to qualifying benefits and because of this, ILF Scotland should suspend the award. If a recipient continues to receive support from their Personal Assistant while in hospital, please let us know and we may be able to sustain the award for a temporary period of time instead of suspending it.

Helping Fraser live independently

Football fan Fraser receives funding from ILF Scotland’s 2015 Fund.

Fraser, now aged 31, received a diagnosis of encephalitis, a rare condition where the brain becomes inflamed, when he was aged 16. Fraser requires 24-hour care. ILF funding allows Fraser to receive support from five Personal Assistants. His family says the support is a lifeline – allowing Fraser to receive the assistance he needs to live at home and to enjoy his passions in life.

Fraser’s mum, Alison, said: “Were it not for the funding, Fraser would need to be placed in a care home, where he wouldn’t receive the same level of individualised support.

“The funding has allowed Fraser to have a say over his life… Fraser has always been an avid football fan and goes to watch matches with his personal assistants.

“Fraser also likes to go swimming, and listen to live music, which helps to stimulate his brain.”

Read more about Fraser and other case studies on our website

Northern Ireland

Direct Payment increase

In October 2022, the then Minister of Health in Northern Ireland, Robin Swann MLA, announced an additional £7.1m for Social Care Direct Payments.

Direct Payments are one option available under Self-Directed Support (SDS), allowing people to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from their local Trust.

This additional funding will allow disabled people who directly employ Personal Assistants using their Direct Payment to increase their hourly rates.

At ILF Scotland, to ensure parity, we are actively discussing options with our Sponsor Team at the Department of Health to increase the hourly rate of ILF funded Personal Assistants. We will of course write to those recipients affected as soon as we are able.

Recipient Contribution Reduction

With the agreement of the former Minister of Health in Northern Ireland, we are pleased to implement a change to ILF Scotland Policy 4, Recipient Contribution. This policy sets the amount of money you contribute towards your ILF funded support.

From 1 October 2022, the most anyone will have to contribute is £43 per week. For some of our recipients in Northern Ireland, the reduction will be significant, up to £60 per week but we recognise that for others the reduction will be quite modest.

You can read the revised policy here

Plan for the future

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland recently published a new policy document ‘For Now and For the Future, An Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults in Northern Ireland’.

Former Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Advance Care Planning is about people having the opportunity to have conversations with those important to them, and those who provide care, support or treatment.

“Clarifying your wishes, feelings, beliefs and values, can inform future care, providing peace of mind and reducing the potential for confusion or conflict.”

Members of the public, the voluntary and community sector, and health and social care staff can find out more information from a specially created e-learning platform. You can find out more on our website

Carers NI report

Carers NI carried out our State of Caring survey in 2021 as part of an annual spotlight on the circumstances of carers across the UK. The report is based on the responses from 776 people in Northern Ireland currently providing care.

(Update - January 2023: The 2021 report is no longer online. However a 2022 report is now available.)


Help shape the new National Care Service

The Scottish Government wants to have a National Care Service that best fits the needs of everyone in Scotland and is looking for people to help with the process.

If you are living in Scotland and have views on how you think the future National Care Service should look, you can apply to take part in a Lived Experience Experts' Panel. If you represent an organisation in Scotland with an interest in health and social care, you can apply to take part in a Stakeholder Register.

The Scottish Government website gives you more information on how to be involved.

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care said: “The new National Care Service will set the standards and guidance to support the design and delivery of community healthcare and social work services locally.

“The complexities of getting this right should not be underestimated. People with experience of the current system, whether in receipt of health and care support or delivering it, are the experts. We particularly need to hear those voices.

“These reforms are the biggest since the creation of the National Health Service almost 75 years ago and these Lived Experience Experts and Stakeholder Panels will make sure we deliver a service that puts people at its very heart. I encourage anyone with direct experience of social care to take part.”

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care, which recommended setting up the NCS, spoke very highly of ILF Scotland, recommending that we are an integral part of the NCS.

We are very keen therefore that some ILF recipients and their Award Managers/carers take part in the Experts Panel and would encourage you to sign up. Please let us know if you need any support with this.

If you need help to apply, you can also call a free Scottish Government helpline on 0808 196 1507.

Changes to Scottish Child Payment and Best Start Grant

The Scottish Child Payment will be expanded to 6 to 15-year-olds from 14 November 2022 and will increase to £25 per child per week from the same date. Families can start to apply for the benefit from 14 November.

From the 28 November, if someone is in receipt of Scottish Child Payment, they will receive the Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and the School Age Payment automatically.

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment - from 14 November there will be new exceptions to the general rule that an individual is only entitled to the higher Pregnancy and Baby Payment in respect of their first child.

This will provide greater support for families who are more likely to be starting from scratch without the items that the Pregnancy and Baby payment is intended to provide for. Further details can be found at

You can find more information at

Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is now open for new applications across Scotland. The benefit provides financial support to people aged between 16 and state pension age who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.

Help for people employing Personal Assistants

Are you a disabled person employing a Personal Assistant (PA)? Are you thinking of employing one? A new, free course from the Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL) might be of interest.

The PA Employer Training session covers things like recruitment and interviews and the responsibilities of being an employer. The course is being run this month (December 2022), with plans to repeat sessions in person and online.

To register your interest, please email: or call 0141 550 4455.

You can also find useful employer advice on the ILF Scotland website:

Self-Directed Support Scotland has produced videos highlighting the important work done by Personal Assistants (PAs).

Play your part and save a life

When it comes to cardiac arrest, everyone has a part to play in saving a life, including the one in five Scots who are disabled.

The Save a Life for Scotland campaign - supported by the Scottish Government - has been running since October 2015. The campaign's aim is to save more lives in Scotland from those suffering out of hospital cardiac arrests.

Over the past year, the campaign team has been working to ensure its resources and face-to-face sessions are inclusive for all. You will now find guides in BSL, Easy Read, audio, Makaton, and other formats on the campaign website. See

Read more on this story at

Join us and share your views

We have two groups consisting of ILF Scotland 2015 Fund recipients and their representatives.

One in Northern Ireland called the Stakeholder Group and one in Scotland called the Advisory Group.

Group members provide:

  • feedback and advice on the operation of the Fund
  • information about their experiences of using the Fund
  • input into policy developments

If you receive funding from ILF Scotland, we are keen to hear from you if you think you might want to join one of these groups and help shape our future work.

Please contact Linda Scott (ILF Scotland’s Director for Policy, Improvement and Engagement) by emailing and she will arrange to get in touch and discuss further with you.

Transition Fund Young Ambassadors' Group

If you receive funding from our Transition Fund, you can join our Young Ambassadors’ Group. As a member, you would:

  • be invited to quarterly meetings with other Young Ambassadors
  • attend events in person and online to raise awareness of the Fund
  • be integral to any changes or development of the Fund
  • work with ILF Scotland on podcasts, vlogs and blogs sharing your experiences of the Fund

If you would like to join the Young Ambassadors, please get in touch with Lee House, our Engagement Officer by emailing

Transition Fund

Creating opportunities for young disabled people

The Transition Fund helps young disabled people in Scotland ‘try something new’. It provides funding support to help recipients learn new skills and build their confidence.

Niamh is 23 years old from Glenrothes in Fife. She has a learning disability and felt isolated when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “I had made a wee bit of a friend circle…. We used to go to the pub for our lunch and back to houses and talk about stuff. But when the pandemic came around that all stopped, so we haven’t done it in a while,” she said.

Happily, Niamh is getting creative and more active thanks to the Fund, which provided her with financial support to buy a new digital camera, laptop, printer, photography lessons, an e-bike and local gym membership to improve her fitness.

Niamh says getting the new camera will give her more confidence to take pictures. She will use her e-bike to get her to photography assignments and attend her local gym without the support of her parents. “It’s going to change my life forever, I think, because it’s going to give me an opportunity to
do other things,” she said.

Niamh’s father Kevin discovered the Transition Fund online and helped his daughter apply. “It’s been absolutely fantastic,” said Kevin.

“It’s going to open up so many opportunities for Niamh now to go and engage with the community a bit more and be a bit more independent.”

Read more about Niamh and other case studies on our website
Discover more about the Transition Fund and how to apply at

Top tips for success

Here are some top tips for applying for the ILF Scotland Transition Fund.

Iain Wilson from ILF Scotland says: “Remember to include all the relevant documents - for instance benefits letters relating to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), Child Disability Payment (CDP) or Personal Independent Payment (PIP).

“Enclose a completed support template if you don’t have a disability benefit in payment. You will find a downloadable template on our website at

“Provide any quotes required - if the item that you are requesting is not covered by our price guide.

“And if you need money for a specific date, remember to submit your application at least 12 weeks before the funds are required.

“This will allow us to process your application and pay the funds, helping you start your chosen activity on time. If you apply any later, the funds may not be available when you need them.”

If you need more information or help with your application, please give us a call on 0300 200 2022 or email:

More than just cakes from Cait

One of our Transition Fund recipients and Ambassadors, the lovely Cait, has been branching out her business. She already owns and runs the hugely successful Cait's Bakes where she creates the most delicious cakes and sweet treats. Now she has launched healthy energy treats. Check them
out here:

Transition Fund celebrates five years of success

This month (December 2022) ILF Scotland’s Transition Fund celebrated its fifth birthday.

Since it launched in December 2017, the Fund has distributed over £10 million across Scotland in the form of around 5,500 grants.

The Fund helps young disabled people to “try something new” – in turn building their independence, skills, confidence and opportunities to access their communities.

The Transition Fund’s five year anniversary was marked with a celebration event at the Glasgow Science Centre on 30 November.

ILF Scotland celebrated these milestones with more than 100 young disabled people who have accessed transformative funding and Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport.

The Transition Fund’s five-year anniversary coincided with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which took place on the 3 December. This year’s theme focused on transformative solutions for inclusive development and the role in innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world for disabled people.

The anniversary celebration provided a great opportunity for Transition Fund recipients to share and talk about their experiences of being supported by the Fund and how young disabled people successfully use funding in innovative ways to access their communities.

Peter Scott, OBE, ILF Scotland Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are so proud to celebrate five years of the Transition Fund which has had a profound impact on thousands of young disabled people in Scotland.

“The Transition Fund is unique in that it enhances the confidence, independence and participation of young people in their communities and society at large, with a focus on 'trying something new'.”

You can find more on our website:

Minister launches new Technology Grant

The Transition Fund Technology Grant is a new initiative designed to combat digital isolation for young people in Scotland aged 16-25 with a disability or impairment.

News of the new Grant was announced by Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd MSP on 30 November.

She said: “It was a real privilege to join ILF Scotland in celebrating the achievements of young people and the first five years of the Transition Fund.

“The Scottish Government fully recognises the challenges that many young disabled people experience as they transition to adult life and we are determined to improve the support offered to young people during this important period of their lives.

“I am therefore delighted to announce the launch of the ILF Scotland Transition Fund Technology Grant. This grant will be easy to apply for and offers the applicant the opportunity to get an iPad, a Surface Go 3 tablet or a Chromebook laptop to enable them to overcome digital isolation and connect with online and physical communities.”

So much in today’s world relies on young people being connected – applying for jobs, applying for benefits, finding out what activities are available in a local area, etc.

However, not all young disabled people are able to access technology or the internet without support.

The ILF Scotland Transition Fund Technology Grant can provide an IT solution to allow eligible young people the opportunity to become digitally connected and enable them to be active and included in this ever-growing online world.

A high-proportion of applicants to the Transition Fund already apply for IT equipment, so introducing this new service will speed up the process for a good number of applicants. The Technology Grant is quick and easy to apply for. We can also assist with a data package if required. Visit for details.

Get in touch

Thanks for reading this newsletter. We hope you found it interesting. If you have feedback or ideas for future issues, please get in touch. We would welcome feedback on your preferred methods of receiving information from us and in what formats. We would love to hear from our 2015 and Transition Fund recipients about how ILF Scotland support has helped you.

Email: or call our main number 0300 200 2022.

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Independent Living Fund Scotland
Ground Floor, Denholm House Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA

T: 0300 200 2022


ILF Scotland Limited is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland Company Number SC500075. Registered office Ground Floor, Denholm House Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA

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