The Big Question

Do you agree that the Independent Living Fund should be scrapped?

Simon Stevens – Chief executive, Enable Enterprises
The ILF has been a vital funding stream for people with high support needs for many years but it has not kept up with the times. Recently it tried to modernise, but it lacks compassion and users are left shouting “I am not a number”. Complaining is not allowed – I know, I tried! The ILF should be retired to a care home.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
People with high supports needs are meant to be able to access other sources of funding. But for many, especially in non-metropolitan areas, if you talk about direct payments and individualised budgets you are ignored. People knew where they were with the ILF. Scrapping it will cause a huge amount of stress.

Shaun Webster – Change self advocacy group
I just wish the whole system wasn’t so complicated. I don’t qualify for ILF but they won’t give me direct payments either. There’s so much red tape around trying to apply for these things it gives you a headache just looking at it. Make it more accessible and ask disabled people about the changes – after all, we are the experts.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
Maybe the Independent Living Fund should go. But I’m worried that with all the cuts that local authorities are making, if this money is given to them it will just disappear into other areas. And people with learning difficulties could miss out as social services don’t like giving us direct payments – they seem to think we can’t be trusted with our own money.

Background reading

Independent Living Fund is past its prime, write Bob Hudson and Melanie Henwood

Overhaul and extend the Independent Living Fund, says review

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