Scrapping the benefit in England has left vulnerable people housebound, but those in Wales and Scotland still enjoy greater help.
Ross Everett, 52, had received the Independent Living Fund (ILF) for the last 25 years, allowing him to pay for help with everyday tasks such as washing, cleaning and cooking. Everett, from Brighton, was disabled by the side-effects of his treatment for HIV, which caused intense dizzy spells and balance problems. In recent years, he has developed rheumatoid arthritis, incontinence and memory problems, making the financial support from the ILF more critical to being able to continue living independently.
But in June last year the government scrapped the ILF in England, after two disabled men lost a high court case to stop the closure. Everett says his social care support is now minimal. Instead of funding for 27 hours a week of help from the ILF, he has been offered just nine hours by the council, but with the requirement that he pays £60 towards the costs. He says he “simply can’t afford” that sum from his benefits.