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Independent Living Fund

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the eligibility criteria for applications to the Independent Living Fund.

Broadly, the fund will be open to severely disabled people on low incomes who receive attendance allowance and who have to pay for domestic care.The detailed criteria are as follows:THE INDEPENDENT LIVING FUND

Target Group

People who are severely disabled, whether physically, mentally or sensorially, to the extent that they need help with their domestic duties and/or personal care to enable them to live independently in their own homes.

Eligibility Criteria

1. The applicant is living in the UK either:
  • a. alone; or
  • b. with a partner, or parent or parents, or other person or persons who are unable because of old age, ill-health, disability, other responsibilities, or the extent of the care need, to provide the total amount of personal care and domestic assistance required.
  • For this purpose paid or voluntary support on a live-in basis does not disqualify an applicant from receiving help.

    2. The applicant is:
  • a. receiving attendance allowance or constant attendance allowance; or
  • b. has claimed and been found to satisfy the attendance allowance eligibility criteria, but the six months qualifying period has not yet been completed.
  • If the applicant has submitted a claim to attendance allowance which has still to be decided but which the Trustees consider is likely to succeed, they may make an interim payment until decision of the claim if that would prevent the applicant's admission to institutional care.
    3. The applicant is severely restricted in his ability to perform normal personal care and/or domestic tasks because of his disablement without extensive help.
    4. The applicant or partner, or parent in the case of a dependent child, is:
  • a. in receipt of income support; or
  • b. not in receipt of income support but has net income in excess of income support level of less than the amount needed to pay for his essential personal care or domestic assistance and has capital of less than £6,000 (the Trustees may disregard capital earmarked for specific uses such as for adaptations or a car as they see fit.)
  • 5. That part of personal care and domestic assistance provided by a close relative who incurs only minimal expenses, or provided by a local authority, is not normally eligible for help from the fund.
    6. Personal care and domestic assistance has to be paid for.
    7. The above criteria having been satisfied the Trustees may give such assistance with the cost of provision of personal care and domestic assistance, having regard to receipt of attendance allowance, invalid care allowance, the income support severe disablement premium, excess income under 4(b), net housing costs, to other care needs and to such other factors as they think fit.
    8. Notwithstanding that the above criteria may not all be met, the Trustees may exceptionally make payments as they think fit if such payments would prevent a severely disabled person's admission to institutional care.
    9. In the case of payments from the fund being taken into account for the assessment of housing benefit, payment may be made from the Fund to make good the housing benefit reduction, retrospectively, once legislation has been made to disregard payments from the Fund for the purposes of assessing housing benefit.


    1. Domestic duties are taken to be normal household duties such as cleaning and tidying; cooking and preparing meals and washing up; essential laundering and ironing, and essential shopping.
    2. Personal care duties are taken to be those personal duties that a fit person would normally do for himself such as dressing, eating, washing and bathing, helping in and out of bed and with general mobility around the home.