Incredible victory for Mathieson family in Supreme Court battle

3 mins read

Wednesday 8 July 2015

The Mathieson family have made history as the decision on their landmark case means this is the first time ever that the Supreme Court has found for a claimant in a social security case.

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that taking away Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from a disabled child after he had been in hospital for more than 84 days is in breach of his human rights and unlawful.

The ruling announced today, 8 July, will have a significant impact on the estimated 500 families with severely disabled children who spend extended time in hospital undergoing treatment.

As a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, Contact a Family and The Children’s Trust are calling for the government to urgently act on the court’s decision and scrap the unfair rule once and for all.

Call on the government to act on court’s decision

In a joint statement Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact a Family and Dalton Leong, CEO of The Children’s Trust, said: 

“Today’s Supreme Court judgement is absolutely incredible and a groundbreaking 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 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.”

Show your support for the Mathiesons

Make sure the government now acts on the Supreme Court’s ruling by supporting the Mathieson family and signing our Stop the DLA takeaway in hospital petition

Over 6,000 people have already added their names to the petition, which shows how many people want to see an end to this unfair ruling once and for all.

The landmark Mathieson case

In a landmark case heard at the Supreme Court last March, the Mathieson family from Warrington challenged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) regulations that took DLA away from their severely disabled and hospitalised son. 

Cameron Mathieson spent more than two years in hospital with cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. His family argued that they acted as full time carers until the five year old’s death, in October 2012. 

The government argues that DLA is stopped when a child spends 84 days or over in hospital because their care needs are fully met free of charge by the NHS.

However research carried out by Contact a Family and The Children’s Trust, who have been supporting the Mathiesons, shows that of the families affected by the rule that we surveyed:

  • 99 per cent said they provide more or the same level of care when their child is in hospital compared to when at home
  • 93 per cent said that their costs relating to their child’s disability increase when their child is in hospital.

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