Despite the presence of a national law stating the right of independent living and personal assistance for people with disabilities, allocation of funding and direct payments are still very insufficient in Italy.

At a national level, people with severe disabilities receive a monthly allowance. The amount received does not depend on the severity of the impairment, income or the fact of having a job and it is highly insufficient to cover costs for people requiring many hours of personal assistance.

Extra support for independent living is almost entirely depending on decisions made by regional governments and municipalities, which take decisions depending on available funds and family income, rather than acting as if independent living was a legal right. There are extensive differences in how direct payments are allocated across big and small municipalities, as well as across Northern and Southern regions, with the Independent Living philosophy not being completely spread over the whole country yet. Allocation of funding for independent living can also dramatically change from year to year, thus making it very difficult to plan a live outside the original family or outside group-homes, also known as “family-homes”.

Given the current situation, self-determination of people with disabilities is still very far from having being achieved, with the majority of people with disabilities having to rely on family members, caregivers, and social and health care services aligned with the medical model of disability.