Capital limit change helps independence

Up to 1,000 disabled people could benefit
significantly from changes to the independent living fund announced
by the government last week.

As part of the annual changes to benefit rates
coming into effect next April, the Department for Work and Pensions
said the capital limits for application to the ILF would increase
from £8,000 to £18,500 and the earnings of beneficiaries
and their partners would be disregarded in assessments.

Each of the two changes will affect about 500
people, said disability minister Maria Eagle, making ILF recipients
£130 per week better off on average.

“While this helps only a small number of
people, it helps some of the most disabled people,” added Eagle.
“It fits in very well with our approach of helping people to help
themselves to work.”

Among the other benefit changes announced by
the DWP were a £5 increase in the disabled child premium to
£35.50, and rise in the standard rate of statutory maternity
pay and maternity allowance from £62.20 to £75 per week,
rising to £100 per week in April 2003.

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