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Scottish Government to reopen ILF from 2015

23rd May 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Scottish government has pledged to reopen the Independent Living Fund to new applicants, a development which could see over hundreds of people in the country benefit.

Known commonly as the ILF, it provides payments for higher level support for people with disabilities. It was closed to new applicants in 2010, but following the transfer of the power from the Department of Work and Pensions to the Scottish, Northern Irish, Welsh administrations and English councils from July, applicants will be able to apply from 2015.

Fantastic news for those who are reliant on mobility aids such as rise and recliner chairs in the home, the Scottish government has said that it will put £5million into the fund to allow new applicants to benefit. Together with £500,000 to run the scheme, it is thought that the funds could cover the care and mobility needs of over 600 people in Scotland.

Existing users to still benefit
The Scottish government also said that the 3,000 or so current users of the fund will still benefit from the same funding criteria as normal, with the existing users transferring to the new fund on 1 July 2015. It will then become available to new users later in the year.

While the immediate future for the fund is positive, it was confirmed that funding for scheme beyond 2017 would be determined during the next spending review.

James Blair, policy coordinator at Self Directed Support Scotland, said that the reopening of the funds shows the government’s determination to work alongside those with mobility problems to make a social care system that works for them.

This air of positivity is also shared by Nicola Sturgeon, with Scotland’s first minister saying that a decision on the reopening was reached after meetings were held with disability groups.

The decision to reopen the funding to new applicants is sure to be celebrated amongst the elderly community, as those who rely on straight or curved stairlifts at home will have better access to the relevant support they need.

Image Credit: Martin Abegglen (flickr.com)