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The Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides money to help disabled people live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care. The ILF is permanently closed to new applications.

Using your payments

You can use payments from the ILF to:

  • employ a carer or personal assistant to give you personal and domestic care
  • pay a care agency to provide personal care and help with domestic duties

If you’re already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed to check if your circumstances are still the same.

The ILF is permanently closed to new applications

What you'll get

The amount you get is based on how much care you need and how much it will cost. How much of your own money you’re expected to pay towards your care is taken into account. This is called your ‘available income’.

  • if you applied before April 1993, the maximum payment is £815 a week
  • if you applied after April 1993, the maximum payment is £475 a week

How ILF payments are paid

ILF payments are paid directly into your account - for example, a bank or building society account.

Payments are made every four weeks, usually on a Monday. Each payment you get covers the four weeks that have just gone.

When your award is reviewed, the ILF checks the records you’ll have been asked to keep showing how you spent the money. For this reason, many people find it helpful to have a separate account for their ILF money.

Eligibility

If you’re already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed to check whether your circumstances are still the same.

To continue to get help from the ILF, in most cases you must:

  • be living in the UK for at least 26 weeks a year
  • get social services support worth at least £340 a week or £17,680 a year - this can include direct payments or services from your local health trust - for example, going to a day centre
  • get or be entitled to the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • have less than £23,250 in savings or capital - this includes any money your partner has, if you have a partner
  • be living independently in the community rather than in residential care

Your payments are reviewed at least once every two years.

ILF helpline

  • phone: 0845 601 8815 or 0115 9450 700
  • textphone: 0845 601 8816

Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:30pm and Friday, 9am and 4pm (closed Wednesdays, 10:30am to 11:30am)

More about the ILF

You can find out more about the ILF on the GOV.UK website - you can also download an information leaflet and the ILF ‘Living’ newsletter.

More useful links