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ILF Scotland Newsletter - June 2022

Type of document: Newsletters
Cover of ILF Scotland newsletter - June 2022

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Published: June 19, 2022

Contents

Helping recipients in the aftermath of COVID-19
The potential re-opening of the Independent Living Fund in Scotland and Northern Ireland
Review visits re-start
New vision for future of social care in Scotland
National Insurance contributions / Factsheet
Help shape our 2015 Fund strategies, policies and services
Charter for Involvement
ILF Scotland’s role in Corporate Parenting
ILF Scotland App

Northern Ireland
Special payments to social care Personal Assistants

Scotland
Adult Social Care workers – new minimum rate of pay
Disability Benefits
Transition Fund - help us help you
Calum shapes up with Transition Fund support
Search for Young Ambassadors

Podcasts
Care campaign

Get in touch

Helping recipients in the aftermath of COVID-19

COVID-19 restrictions have eased across the UK but the pandemic isn’t over and we are aware that this has heightened social and economic inequalities in our communities, and want to do what we can to help.

ILF Scotland’s Director of Policy, Improvement and Engagement, Linda Scott, says: “We know the pandemic has disproportionately affected disabled people. A number of our recipients in both our 2015 and Transition Funds reported difficulties in accessing necessary services.

Some people told us their mental health was adversely affected and that they were experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation. We also witnessed an increased stress on unpaid carers.”

We have been operating our policies as flexibly as we can, providing additional financial support within our Funds where we are able to. As we move to a ‘new normal’, we are updating our website on an ongoing basis with information for fund recipients and their Personal Assistants (PAs).

This includes information on PA £500 thank you payments, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies, Lateral Flow Testing, and the Social Care Staff Support Fund. Please keep visiting our website and social media channels for updates and the latest information.

As always, if you have queries, you can also call us on 0300 200 2022 or email: enquiries@ilf.scot and we’ll do our best to help.

We recently published our second Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes Report 2022-24. In this, we reported on our progress in embedding equality across every part of our organisation and set out the actions we will take in the next two years to make sure that we fully consider how we can best deliver our services to you.

The potential re-opening of the Independent Living Fund in Scotland and Northern Ireland

We continue to talk with our colleagues in the Scottish Government and The Department of Health in Northern Ireland about the possibility of re-opening the 2015 fund to new applicants for the first time since 2010.

In Scotland, the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Mr Kevin Stewart, has stated his ambition to re-open the 2015 Fund in line with the recommendation of the Feeley Review of Adult Social Care.

Re-opening ILF to new applicants in Northern Ireland remains under consideration by the Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann MLA. We will provide an update when there are any developments.

Review visits re-start

As COVID-19 restrictions start to lift, ILF Scotland staff have resumed review visits to recipients’ homes. We are giving priority to those recipients where there is an urgent need to review support arrangements.

You will receive a letter from us with guidance about what you can expect before, during and after our visit and we will prioritise your health to ensure that our visits are as safe as possible.

If you have Social Work funded support, we will advise your local Social Work department that we expect a representative to attend the visit and we will ask them to provide information about the support they provide to you.

If we tell you about a planned review visit and you have concerns about this, please let us know. We can still complete some reviews by video if necessary. You can find more information on our website at www.ilf.scot and you can access a video detailing the process here: https://bit.ly/ilf-vid.

New vision for the future of social care

The Scottish Government says legislation to establish a National Care Service for Scotland (NCS) will ensure the best possible outcomes for people accessing care and support and end the ‘postcode lottery’ of care.

The National Care Service Bill will make Scottish Ministers accountable for adult social care in Scotland - a change strongly supported by those responding to the recent consultation on the plans.

The Bill provides the foundation for the NCS, and enables the fine detail of the new service to be co-designed with people who have direct experience of social care services.

Plans have also been published to explain how that collaboration will work. Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf, said: “This is the most ambitious reform of public services since the creation of the NHS.

“People have told us they want a National Care Service, accountable to Scottish Ministers, with services designed and delivered locally. That’s exactly what we are going to deliver.

“The design of the NCS will have human rights embedded throughout, and the actual shape and detail of how the NCS works will be designed with those who have direct experience of accessing and providing social care. “

We are going to end the postcode lottery of care in Scotland. Through the National Care Service we’re going to ensure everyone has access to consistently high-quality care and support so they can live a full life. This is our ambitious goal and while it will not be easy to achieve it is vital that we do.”

Read more on the Scottish Government website: https://bit.ly/national-care-service

National Insurance (NI) Contributions

There are two types of NI contribution: employee and employer. ILF Scotland cannot contribute to employee NI contributions. ILF Scotland recipient employers should deduct employee NI contributions from gross wages in the same way as they would for PAYE.

In some cases, however, we may be able to help contribute to employer NI (for ILF funded PAs), if your total A new factsheet from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group of the Chartered Institute of Taxation might be of interest.

It’s entitled “Is your PA employed or self-employed?” If you use a PA it might be worth downloading: https://bit.ly/3w53Vle employer NI bill for a financial year exceeds £5,000 and there is capacity within the overall maximum ILF Scotland award. Please contact us to discuss. (If your bill is less than this, it should be covered by HMRC’s Employment Allowance Scheme.)

Employment Allowance: What you'll get - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you need more information, please get in touch with us.

Factsheet

A new factsheet from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group of the Chartered Institute of Taxation might be of interest. It’s entitled “Is your PA employed or self-employed?” If you use a PA it might be worth downloading: https://bit.ly/3w53Vle

Help shape our 2015 Fund strategies, policies and services

We welcome feedback from our 2015 Fund recipients. We have two groups that provide forums for people to talk to ILF Scotland and help shape our future work:

  • The Scotland Advisory Group and
  • The Northern Ireland Stakeholder Group.

Group members provide:

  • feedback and advice on the operation of the Fund
  • information about their experiences of using the Fund
  • ideas for potential policy developments

These groups are currently looking for new ILF Scotland recipient members. If you are interested in being involved in either of these groups, please contact Linda Scott (ILF Scotland’s Director for Policy, Improvement and Engagement) by emailing Linda.Scott@ILF.scot .

You can also call on 0300 200 2022.

Charter for Involvement

The charity ARC Scotland is inviting people with support needs in Scotland to join the National Involvement Network (NIN), offering free membership.

Catherine Dempsey, Project Manager, Arc Scotland, says: “Members will get regular info on NIN meetings and issues that might interest them, and hear about ways to have their voice heard. They’ll meet new people, and have the chance to share experiences and learn from each other. They will be able to vote on NIN decisions, share what matters to them, and influence change.”

Sign up and get more details on NIN membership on the ARC Scotland website: arcuk.org.uk If you’d like a paper copy of the application form, please email ARC Scotland: nin@arcuk.org.uk or call Diane on: 07498 470 223.

NIN launched the Charter for Involvement with the aim of supporting people who want to be involved and have a say about the services they receive, the organisations that provide their services, and their wider communities.

ILF Scotland signed the Charter for Involvement in 2018. We worked with our 2015 Advisory and Stakeholder Groups to co-produce Charter Statements, tailored to cover the areas that are important to our recipients, with the aim of enhancing their direct involvement and influence.

We jointly produced an action plan in April 2021, setting out how we would put the Charter Statements into practice. We published an update on our progress in April 2022 on our website. We have achieved a lot but will continue to work towards delivering our action plan over the next year. You can view this on our website.

ILF Scotland’s role in Corporate Parenting

As a public body of the Scottish Government, we are committed to supporting Scottish Ministers in their role as Corporate Parents.

The Statutory Guidance on Corporate Parenting defines it as “an organisation’s performance of actions necessary to uphold the rights and safeguard the wellbeing of a looked after child or care leaver, and through which physical, emotional, spiritual, social and educational development is promoted” (Scottish Government, 2015).

In relation to the Transition Fund, we commit to improving our understanding corporately of the needs of care experienced young people, up to and including the age of 25. Our aim is that we might better target our services to these young people, as well as providing them with the best advice and assistance we can.

We will do this by working with other Corporate Parents and care experienced young people, identifying how we can improve our plan, services and processes. We published our Corporate Parenting Action Plan in April 2021 and an update on progress in April 2022.

ILF Scotland App

We’re looking at rolling out an ILF Scotland mobile phone app – and we want to hear from our 2015 and Transition Fund recipients about the kind of features you would find useful.

If you have ideas or comments, please get in touch. Email: digit@ilf.scot . You can also call our main number on 0300 200 2022.

Leave contact details and someone from the digital team will get back to you. The app could, for example, offer ways to apply for funding, help you access payroll information, review your existing funding, and offer news and contact information.

If there are features you’d like to see, please let us know. Thank you.

Northern Ireland

Social care Personal Assistants in Northern Ireland – who worked during the pandemic – are able to claim a Special Recognition Payment, up to a maximum of £500. Applications are being handled through a new online portal. See https://bit.ly/ni-payments2022

A paper-based application form is also available. Applications will close on 31 July 2022.

If you have any questions about this payment, you can call a dedicated helpline – 0800 170 13 50.

This will be available from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Those eligible to receive the recognition payment must have been employed for a continuous four-week period between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021, as Personal Assistants.

Eligible people will fall within one of the following categories:

  • Personal Assistants employed by Independent Living Fund recipients in Northern Ireland
  • Personal Assistants employed by the Thalidomide survivors in NI via the Thalidomide Health Grant
  • Personal Assistants employed via direct payments from Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs)
  • self-employed Personal Assistants.

As with recognition payments to other health and social care workers, Personal Assistants will receive a pro-rata payment up to a maximum of £500, depending on the number of hours they work in an average week.

ILF Scotland is helping to administer the new payments and deliver the helpline in partnership with Scotland Excel, Self-Directed Support Scotland, and the NI Department of Health.

Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, said the scheme acknowledges and thanks health and social care staff for their “immeasurable and vital contribution” throughout the pandemic. He said: “Personal Assistants are a vital part of our health and social care workforce and they have our utmost gratitude. We have developed the online platform so that the process can be as simple, straightforward and as speedily delivered as possible for applicants.”

Scotland

Adult Social Care workers – new minimum rate of pay

The Scottish Government increased the minimum rate of pay for Adult Social Care workers from £10.02 to £10.50 per hour from 1 April 2022 - an increase of 4.8 per cent.

In turn, ILF Scotland increased its financial support to disabled people who employ PAs, allowing them to pass on the wage increase to their staff.

We advised our recipients who employ PAs to pay at least £10.50 for every hour they work, including overnight hours of support and asked recipients who use a payroll agency to contact them to tell them to pay PAs the increased rate of pay from 1 April 2022.

We did not automatically increase the hourly rate charged by care providers. If you use a care provider and they write to you to advise you that they are increasing their hourly rate to allow them to pay their staff the new minimum Adult Social Care workers rate of £10.50 per hour, please send this letter to us by email or post and we will consider this increase.

We normally backdate for up to four weeks but please speak to us if you think there is an exceptional reason for backdating further.

Disability Benefits

This summer, some people in Scotland - who currently receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - will be transferred to Adult Disability Payment (ADP), administered by Social Security Scotland. A series of free events have been organised to help charities and organisations support the transfer.

Visit the Social Security Scotland website for more information. https://socialsecurity.gov.scot

Transition Fund – help us help you

Our Transition Fund is open to young disabled people aged 16-25 with a disability or impairment under the Equalities Act 2010.

It provides funding of up to £4,000 for one year to help applicants try new activities and experiences – allowing them to become more engaged and active in their community.

The Transition Fund supports young people living with a range of conditions including autism, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, hearing or visual impairments, and mental health, such as anxiety and depression. If you feel you could be eligible for the funding, please get in touch with us. The Fund is available across Scotland.

Staff regularly attend community events – in person and online - to raise its profile. Visit our website at www.ilf.scot and check our social media channels for updates on the latest events.

Iain Wilson, who manages the Transition Fund team, said: “We’re currently dealing with a high level of applications from across the country, and whilst this is good news, it does mean that it can take us up to 12 weeks to process an application. Applicants can help us minimise this time by making sure applications are fully completed, with the correct supporting information, before submitting.

“If you receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), Child Disability Payment (CDP) or Personal Independent Payment (PIP), you should send us your most recent letter – dated within the last two years. The letter needs to show your name, address, National Insurance number and the rate of benefit being paid. It’s best if you provide us with all four or five pages of your letter to make sure we have everything we need.

“Anyone who doesn’t have any of these benefits can still apply, and should use the Support Letter Template to confirm their eligibility for the Fund. This is available on our website at www.ilf.scot.

“If you have any problems applying to the fund, please contact us on 0300 200 2022 or email: enquiries@ilf.scot.

Since the opening of the Transition Fund in December 2017, ILF Scotland has:

  • Received over 7,000 applications
  • Approved over £10.5m in funding

Read our recipients' stories at www.ilf.scot

Calum shapes up with Transition Fund support

Calum Leather has been working off the pounds and improving his strength, thanks to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund.

Our support helped him join his local gym and pay for one-to-one sessions with a personal trainer. Calum (21), who has Down’s Syndrome, put on weight during COVID-19 lockdowns – and was keen to get into shape.

His mum, Mhairi, said: “He wanted to join a gym but it was difficult to get somewhere which would offer the support he needed.

“However, his current personal trainer has been great with him. Over the past year he has worked so hard - and improved his fitness and balance.

“We’re now planning to extend his membership when the ILF Scotland funding comes to an end this summer. Thanks so much for providing this support.”

Calum, who also enjoys swimming - attends the Tiphereth base in Edinburgh, run by the charity Camphill Scotland. The Transition Fund is open to young disabled people aged 16-25.

It provides funding of up to £4,000 for one year to help applicants try new activities and experiences – allowing them to become more engaged and active in their community.

Mhairi said: “We heard about the Transition Fund through a friend. It’s been a good support to Calum and allowed him to create habits that will – hopefully – be lifelong.”

Search for Young Ambassadors

Have you received money from our ILF Scotland Transition Fund? We’re looking for young people to join our Young Ambassadors’ group.

These amazing people help spread the word about the Transition Fund – and encourage others to apply for support. If you’d like to join the Young Ambassadors, please get in touch. Email: communications@ilf.scot with your contact details.

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.

Podcasts

Check out the ILF podcast, which premiered a few months ago. It’s available on Spotify https://spoti.fi/3xKjGj4  

There is also a video version on https://youtu.be/918umbxcSUU

The charity Iriss, which works with Social Work and Social Care to create positive change in Scotland is promoting its podcasts. Check them out. https://podcast.iriss.org.uk

 The BBC’s Access All podcast series promises “original disability news stories and features”. https://bbc.in/3wKtxUZ

Finally, the Family Fund charity has recruited Paddy and Christine McGuinness to front their new “Table Talk” podcast. It aims to raise “better awareness of the realities of daily life for families raising a disabled, or seriously ill child or young person”. https://bit.ly/family-fund-podcast

Care campaign

The Scottish Government is running a new campaign to attract new people into Adult Social Care. Visit https://caretocare.scot to find out more.

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 love to hear from our 2015 and Transition Fund recipients about how ILF Scotland support has helped you.

We’d also welcome feedback on your preferred methods of receiving information from us.

Email: communications@ilf.scot or call our main number 0300 200 2022.

You can also write to us at Ground Floor, Denholm House Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA.

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