Stop the DLA takeaway in hospital

3 mins read

We did it!

Thanks to our thousands of campaigners, on 29 June 2016 the government scrapped the rules that previously stopped payments of prevented Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when a child under 18 is in hospital for more than 84 days.

Read the full new regulations and find out more about our campaign below.

Why we campaigned

The government justified stopping DLA when a child spends a long time in hospital by arguing that a child’s needs are fully met free of charge by the NHS.

However, our research [PDF] shows that without a parent’s input, a child’s needs are not fully met in hospital and the extra costs continue. That’s why we argued that these rules denied families financial help when they needed it most.

What we and our supporters did

  • Organised a petition calling on the government to scrap the rules for all families. More than 7,000 signed the petition in support.
  • Provided evidence to the DWP on how 16 and 17 year olds were affected by the hospital rules.
  • Produced research that was used in the Supreme Court to show that the rules are unfair; see our DLA takeaway report [PDF].
  • Shared with the government a DLA takeaway policy briefing [PDF] on the evidence.

What we’ve achieved

From 29 June 2016, a new law means that no child in hospital will have their DLA or PIP suspended if they are in hospital for 84 days (or 28 days if aged 16 or 17).

The law change is an incredible legacy for Cameron Mathieson, who spent more than two years in hospital before his death in 2012. Our campaign victory means that hundreds of families of the most disabled and poorly children will no longer be denied financial assistant when they need it most.

We’d like to say an enormous thank you to all our campaigners. We’d also like to thank the Department for Work and Pensions officials who’ve worked with us to make this change in law a reality.

How will this affect my child in hospital?

You can read all about the new law on our page Payment of Disability Living Allowance for a child in hospital.

The legacy of our campaign: help at hand in hospital

The Stop the DLA Takeaway Campaign lives on in our hospitals and hospices project.

Based in Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Great North Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children (GOSH) and the Evelina London’s Children’s Hospital, our advisers give parents expert advice on matters such as finances, difficult medical terminology and help at school. We hope that this project will expand to other hospitals across the UK.

If you would like support this or our other work, please make a donation by visiting our donate page.