Landmark news for families of children with disabilities

The Supreme Court has ruled that taking Disability Living Allowance from a child who had been in hospital for more than 84 days is unlawful.

The unanimous judgment was announced yesterday (July 7), stating that this was a breach of human rights and will be of significant importance to other families. The case was brought to court by the family of a little boy, on his behalf and in conjunction with The Children’s Trust and Contact a Family’s Stop The DLA Takeaway campaign.

The film below shows a touching interview with Cameron's father, Craig immediately following the news.

It is the first time ever that either the Supreme Court or its predecessor the House of Lords has ruled in favour of a claimant in a social security case. The ruling will have a significant impact on the estimated 500 families with severely disabled children who spend time in hospital undergoing treatment. Craig Mathieson has been fighting the case for over five years on behalf of his son, Cameron who sadly passed away during the process. Read Cameron’s story here. And now Contact a Family and The Children’s Trust are calling for the government to urgently act on the court’s ruling, issue guidance to ensure that similar unlawful decisions are not made and scrap the rule that says that DLA should be suspended when a child has been in hospital for more than 84 days once and for all. Dalton Leong, Chief Executive of The Children’s Trust said: “Today’s Supreme Court judgement is in absolutely incredible and a ground-breaking victory for the Mathieson family who have fought tirelessly on behalf of some of the most severely disabled children in the UK who require hospital treatment. “We are delighted that the Supreme Court has recognised that it is unfair and unlawful to remove the main disability benefit for children – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - from families of the most sick and disabled children when they need it most. “The judgement shows that the court understands that many parents provide extra care that even the best equipped hospitals can’t give and have substantial costs - such as loss of earnings, travel and meal expenses, parking fees and childcare costs for siblings - as a result. “This is great news for families of disabled children across the UK. The welfare system should be there to protect families when they are at their most vulnerable. We now call on the government to urgently act on today’s judgement and scrap this unfair rule once and for all. Families affected by the rule should seek advice about using this judgement to ask that their DLA payments restart. “We would like to extend our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the Mathieson family who have fought tirelessly, not for their own benefit, but for the other hundreds of families affected each year.”
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