£27m is being made available to maintain support for more than 1,600 disabled people in Wales to live independently, Welsh Labour’s Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) was set up by the Welsh Labour Government in July 2015, following a decision by the UK Government to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
The WILG support disabled people with significant care needs who used to receive payments from the ILF to meet the additional costs of living independently, which include help with eating and drinking; cooking and preparing food and drink; assistance with dressing; cleaning, laundry and other domestic duties.
Following the closure of the ILF, the Welsh Government put in place a ring-fenced, local authority-administered grant scheme – the WILG – to run until at least 31 March 2017. As part of this, £20.4m was provided to local authorities in 2015-16 to enable them to maintain payments to former ILF recipients at the level they used to receive.
The announcement will allow local authorities to provide recipients with their payments in the next financial year at the same level they received under the previous ILF at the time it closed, helping them to live independently in the community.