HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 cc192-3W
Mr. Alan Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what estimate he has made of the additional numbers of severely disabled people who would be eligible for assistance from(a) the independent living fund and (b) direct payments from their local authority if the £500 upper limit was (i) raised to £1,000 and (ii) abolished entirely; and what would be the additional cost of assistance in each case; [16299]

(2) how many people have been refused consideration for payments from the independent living fund as a result of their care needs being assessed as over the £500 limit during (a)1994–95, and (b)1995–96; [16298]

(3) what would the upper limit for payments from the independent living fund be if it had been uprated by (a)prices and (b)earnings since its introduction; and what would be the extra cost of payments from the fund in each case. [16300]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows.

We intend to bring the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 into force on 1 April 1997. No upper or lower limits for the cost of care packages under the direct payments scheme have been set.

In 1994–95 and 1995–96, the independent living fund declined 13 and 28 applications respectively where the total cost of the care package exceeded £500.

If the current upper limit of £300 for payments by the fund set on 1 April 1993 had been increased in line with pries, it would now be £324 and £333 if it had been increased in line with average earnings. The annual estimated extra cost would be £100,000 and £135,000 respectively for 1996–97.


1.Source: Independent living fund—100 per cent. count subject to change.

2. Calculated according to the retail prices index, earnings and average earnings index for all full-time employees; movement in RPI September 1993 to September 1995; movement in average earnings index for 1993–1996. In both cases the upper limits for independent living fund payments are assumed as adjusted from April 1996. All figures are rounded to the nearest £1.