A new £20m fund to support more than 1,600 disabled people in Wales with their care needs comes into operation today, following the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) by the UK Government.
Disabled people with significant care needs will receive direct cash payments from local authorities to help meet the cost of the care and support they need.
Until Tuesday June 30, when the ILF closed, people received ILF payments to pay for a range of care and support, including help with eating and drinking; cooking and preparing food and drink; assistance with dressing; cleaning, laundry and other domestic duties.
There were 1,648 people receiving ILF payments in Wales, who received a weekly payment to help meet their needs.
The new grant scheme will be delivered by local authorities and will run until the end of March 2017. It was set up following a public consultation last year.
Funding of £20.4m has been ring-fenced for the scheme for July 2015 to the end of March 2016, which is based on the number of people receiving ILF when the current scheme closed on June 30.
Health and Social Services Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “The UK Government’s decision to close the ILF has caused anxiety among those who receive support and their carers.
“The Welsh grant scheme to replace the ILF comes into operation today. It will allow local authorities to pay existing recipients their current level of funding, ensuring people continue to receive this source of support.
“The actions the Welsh Government has taken to ensure this important source of funding continues to be delivered by our local authorities means people who currently receive ILF payments will still be able to get direct payments to sustain their levels of care and support under a new made-in-Wales process.”
© Crown copyright 2015 Source: Gov.wales