Success for Stop the DLA Takeaway Campaign

Date: 12th July 2016
Category: Disabled children

The government has now scrapped the rules that previously stopped payment of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when a child (under 18) was in hospital.

The new law came into force on the 29th June 2016, and now means that hundreds of families of the most disabled and poorly children will no longer be denied financial support when they need it most.

This campaign was launched in 2010 and Contact a Family and The Children's Trust, Tadworth have repeatedly called on the government to abolish the rule which suspends Disability Living Allowance (DLA) when a child spends longer than 84 days in hospital.

The government previously argued that DLA is no longer needed when a child spends substantial periods in hospital because a patient's needs are fully met free of charge.

However a survey conducted by Contact a Family and The Children's Trust with families whose children spend long periods in hospital provides evidence for the first time that this is not the case. Their survey found that:

  • Almost all carers (99%) provide more (68%) or the same (31%) level of care when their child is in hospital compared to when their child is at home.
  • 93% have increased costs relating to their child's disability when they are staying in hospital.

The campaign focussed on a legal challenge by the family of Cameron Mathieson, a severely disabled boy who spent more than two years in hospital before his death in 2012.

The government has now acted, and now no child in hospital will have their Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment suspended if they are in hospital for 84 days (or 28 days if aged 16 or above).