Disabled man fears he will be ‘trapped in own home’ if support grant cut

Nathan Lee Davies is one of 1,500 who could see their quality of life plummet when Welsh Independent Living Grant is ends in March

A disabled man fears he could become “trapped in his own home” if a vital support grant is withdrawn.

Nathan Lee Davies from Wrexham, is campaigning to get the Welsh Government (WG) to reverse its decision to close the Welsh Independent Living Fund.

Instead it will be up to local council’s to provide care packages for disabled people from March next year.

But Mr Davies says he has been told his hours of support will be reduced drastically when responsibility moves to cash-strapped councils and fears that could see him stuck in his house with little hope of getting out.

He said: “I’ve been told that my hours will go down from 86.5 hours to just 31 hours a week and if that happens I will only get help to get up in the morning and eat, I won’t be able to go out or socialise.

“I do fear that I could become trapped in my own home and will be just existing which I don’t won’t.”

The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) was introduced to help people who had claimed from the UK government’s Independent Living Fund. That closed in 2015.

The grant helps more than 1,500 severely disabled people in Wales to live as independently as possible and pays for cleaning, cooking laundry, averaging about £335 a week.

It was due to run until the end of March, but WG Social Services Minister Rebecca Evans said last November funding would continue for another year – after which it will be handed over to local councils in 2018-19.

The annual £27 million fund will then transfer directly to local authorities so they can meet the support needs of all former ILF recipients by March 31 2019.

Mr Davies launched a petition last year against the move which attracted 324 signatures.

“Something needs to be done and I have been campaigning to get the Welsh Government to reverse its decision,” he said.

A WG spokesman insisted nothing will change when responsibility is handed over to local authorities.

A WG statement said: “We have been working to put in place long-term arrangements and as a result, this future support will now be provided by local councils.

“Payments will continue as usual, but from 1 April 2017 councils will meet with the people receiving them to identify the well-being outcomes they wish to achieve and agree the support they need to do this.

“Once this support is available, it will be provided to help people live independently instead of the payments previously received. By 31 March 2019 all recipients will receive their support in this way.”

Source: https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/disabled-man-fears-trapped-home-14214366

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