Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides money to help people with disabilities live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care.

The Independent Living Fund is now closed to new applicants. 


If you are already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed at least once every two years to check whether your circumstances are still the same.

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

  • be normally resident in Northern Ireland
  • be living in Northern Ireland for at least 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks
  • 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 the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, highest rate of Attendance Allowance, daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • 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

How much 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
  • after April 1993, the maximum payment is £475 a week

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.

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

More useful links

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