Scottish Independent Living Fund
The Scottish Independent Living Fund (ILF) was established in 1 July 2015 – following the UK Government’s closure of the UK ILF – to safe-guard the rights of disabled people to live independent lives.
The public body ILF Scotland administers the £47.2 million a year national Fund, which enables disabled people with high support needs to choose to live in their communities and lead independent lives. There are currently 2,591 ILF recipients in Scotland (correct as of 31 March 2017).
New ILF Scheme
On top of the £47.2 million of support (transferred from UK Government) for existing Scottish ILF users, Ministers have committed an extra £5 million per year to open a new scheme of ILF support.
This new ILF scheme will be a broad discretionary fund to support disabled people to live independently. Within its first phase, this will be focused on supporting young disabled people, aged between 16 and 21, who are at an important transitional stage in their lives. This supports the Scottish Government’s Disability Delivery Plan, which includes actions to tackle the inequalities and barriers faced by disabled young people, including overcoming social isolation, improving lives at points of transition, and improving outcomes.
The details for the new scheme have been co-produced by the ILF Working Group, a group with representation from the Scottish Government, ILF Scotland, disabled people, carers, disability groups and local authorities.
The New ILF Scheme Policy Detail and Eligibility Criteria
The scheme will provide a short-term award to help a young disabled person explore, plan and achieve outcomes or goals that they have identified, and for which other sources of support are not available. The funding will help the young person to be active, participate and contribute to their own communities; and is aimed at making a lasting difference to their independent living.
In order to be eligible for the new ILF scheme, applicants must be resident in Scotland; be aged 16 to 21 inclusive; and have evidence of a disability or impairment within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.
The young person must outline a plan aimed at achieving specific, clearly defined goals or goal, which relates to make a lasting difference to their life. The new scheme will offer a short-term ILF award to help the young person achieve the goals outlined in their plan. The development of the plan must be led by the young person.
The intention is that the ILF award is not used to fund activities that would otherwise be the responsibility of another agency.
The amount that can be awarded to applicants is subject to the total amount available to support the new ILF scheme (with £5 million a year committed by Scottish Ministers).
The intention is that the new ILF scheme is implemented in a ‘phased to learn’ approach, with evaluation built in from the start. Essentially, this means that the direction of any future funding rounds will be informed and developed by the learning applied from the previous ones.
The new ILF scheme is being implemented by ILF Scotland, who we have asked to look at ways to make the application process as accessible as possible, including looking at how to ensure that the young disabled person has any help they might need to make their application.
The new ILF scheme will open to new applications later in 2017.