From the Herald. 14th September 2010

Hundreds of desperate families in Scotland are living in fear of losing out on £61m of funding due to government cutbacks.

The money is Scotland’s share of the Independent Living Fund, a £360m pot for some of the most disabled people in the UK, which was set up to help those who choose to live in the community rather than in residential care.

In some cases, families use the money to pay for additional carers to enable disabled adults to have a social life, or take part in sports or other activities. For many it helps to provide a break for family members who often undertake hours of unpaid caring duties.

Disability campaigners were already concerned about a decision taken earlier this year to refuse applications from anyone not working a minimum of 16 hours a week. Then in June, after two months of the financial year, the fund was effectively closed for business as it had run out of money for new applicants.

Now, officials within the Department for Work and Pensions have warned a Scottish disability project that the fund could be handed over to local councils, or the Department of Health, but with no money to fund new applicants. After that it could face complete closure within four years…..

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