Independent Living Fund - The ILF

What is the Independent Living Fund (ILF)?

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is a part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is dedicated to providing financial assistance to disabled people, as well as creating higher standards of independent living. The fund is aimed at offering disabled people the same freedom to live their own lives in the same way as able-bodied people.

The Independent Living Fund is offered to severely disabled people (in accordance with its own set of eligibility criteria) on a four-weekly basis. The amounts offered vary between individuals depending on the nature and severity of disability.

How can the Independent Living Fund help me?

The ILF aims to give disabled people a choice. If you have a disability, you may qualify for financial support which will help with costs of living in the community or in residential care or sheltered accommodation.

The Independent Living Fund can be paid directly into your bank account electronically, which means you will be in complete control of the money you receive. You may use the Fund to pay for personal assistants or any other individual to allow you to remain living at home.

How do I qualify to receive the Independent Living Fund?

To receive Independent Living Fund payments, you must:
  • Receive a minimum from social security – (£320 per week, or £16,640 per year in 2009)

  • Be in receipt of the higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance

  • Be over 16 and under 65 years of age. You must apply to receive ILF before your 65th birthday. However, you will continue to receive ILF providing you meet all of the other specified criteria

  • Have a maximum amount of capital or savings.  This includes any moneys which your partner earns, where applicable. (£23,000 in 2009)

  • Be resident in the United Kingdom.

Irrespective of these criteria, you will be expected to contribute half of your Disability Living Allowance as well as your full Severe Disability Premium (if you are in receipt of this in conjunction with Income Support payments).

How long will it take for claim take to be processed?

There are two priority groups that you can fall under when applying to receive the Independent Living Fund.

Group 1

You will fall into Group 1 if you are employed or self employed for a minimum of 16 hours per week and fulfil all of the eligibility criteria listed above.

Group 2

You will fall into Group 2 if you receive the following social security benefits:

  •  Income Support
  •  Pension Guarantee Credit
  •  Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  •  Income-related Employment & Support Allowance

If you do not receive social security benefits, you may still be entitled to receive ILF if your earnings are of a similar level to Income Support. Those who fall into Group 1 receive higher priority and it is likely that applications in this group will be processed first.

If you do not fall into either Group 1 or Group 2 then it is unlikely that your application will be processed.

How can I apply for the Independent Living Fund?

If you meet all of the above eligibility criteria, you can either complete an application form online, or download the form to fill in by hand. If you need help, you can ask someone to fill in the form for you.

If cannot provide your signature, someone else may do this for you if they are either your benefits appointee or hold Power of Attorney. Part of the form must also be completed by a Social Worker, Care Manager or a similar representative from your Local Authority Social Services Department.

Article written by...
Lucy Trevelyan LLB
Lucy Trevelyan LLB

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Lucy graduated in law from the University of Greenwich, and is also an NCTJ trained journalist. A legal writer and editor with over 20 years' experience writing about the law.