In the past couple of weeks the ‘Future of the Independent Living Fund’ consultation was launched by the Department for Work and Pensions and Minister for Disabled People (Maria Miller). The proposal is that having already announced that no new applications will be received, and current recipients will remain unchanged until 2015. We now know the whole scheme is to be closed from then onwards. From this point it is the Local Authority who have responsibility for funding a disabled persons social care.
My situation and experience is that I receive funds to employ my Personal Assistants, instead of an agency being contracted on my behalf. This means I have the budget to advertise, recruit, employ, train and retain the right people for me. With this comes great responsibility, but great freedom. For example employment law, responsibility for paying someones wages and tax returns are some of the factors. However, I can wake up when I want, shower when I want, eat when I want and sleep when I want. Beyond the basics, I can work, socialise and travel when I want too. In conclusion this works very well for me.
Getting this setup in my home borough of Hackney, London was not all easy. My budget is made up from Hackney council and the ILF. I dread to think what would have happened when I moved here if the ILF didn’t exist. I have already written about my fears of losing the ILF funds [email protected].
Therefore my feedback to the consultation website will be:
– What will happen to prepare me for the changeover?
– Can you assure me that my Local Authority can afford to fill the void left?
– Even if the plans and assurances are there, can you support me, make me feel less anxious and ensure my wellbeing is fine throughout
I really hope the answers have already been thought of, and are positive. However, something in my stomach is very worried. I fear the nearer 2015 comes, the more I will fret of worse case scenarios and potentially face a very different lifestyle to the active and fulfilling one I currently have. Please let me be wrong.
If you have any thoughts, hit reply to this email if you subscribe, comment if you’re on the blog and share this with others too. If you have personal fears or thoughts please get in contact with the DWP and air them yourselves.
Stay strong and be positive!
Your online lifestyle advocat, Martyn 🙂