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Independent Living Fund: Post-Closure Review

Women with a disability
Published: January 2017

Research into people's experiences of the Independent Living Fund's closure in England.


Following the closure of the Independent Living Fund, set up to provide financial support to disabled people with high support needs, we have carried out research into people's experiences of the closure in England.

You can download the Independent Living Fund: post-closure review and a summary of the review from DWP's website.

This qualitative assessment looks at the experiences of the closure from the point of view of former recipients and local authority staff. 

About the Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund was permanently closed in June 2015 and responsibility for supporting ILF recipients in England was passed to local authorities.

The decision to close the Fund was to ensure that all social care support was delivered through the mainstream system, rather than two separate systems. The decision also took into account the significant developments in adult social care over the last twenty years since the start of the Fund.


A qualitative research design was used. Depth interviews were conducted with:

  • 50 former recipients of the Independent Living Fund, or unpaid family carers that took part in proxy interviews on behalf of a former recipient who was unable to take part themselves, due to the nature of their health condition; and
  • Staff working in ten different County Council or local authority adult social care services divisions with responsibility for managing the Independent Living Fund closure locally.