A SEVERELY disabled boy’s family won an “incredible” landmark battle against the government in the Supreme Court yesterday after his disability benefit was docked while he suffered in hospital.
Craig Mathieson, whose son Cameron died in October 2012 aged five, challenged a cruel regulation that stops disability living allowance (DLA) payments after a child’s first 84 days in hospital.
Cameron, who had cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was in Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital for 13 months from July 2010 when he was admitted for symptoms of chronic bowel obstruction. He died in October 2012.
But four months after admission, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decided that his payment should be suspended from October 2010, despite at least one parent always staying with Cameron and caring for him in hospital.
The family struggled financially for two years, losing out on £7,000 of payments.
The Supreme Court announced that it “substitutes the decision that Cameron Mathieson was entitled to continued payment of DLA with effect from October 6 2010.”
Mr Mathieson said in a statement: “This decision is a fantastic legacy for Cameron.
“He adored people and he would have been delighted to know that, because of him, other vulnerable children and their families will not have to endure the same financial hardships that we had to contend with while he was in hospital.”
Children’s charities Contact a Family and The Children’s Trust applauded the ruling as an “incredible victory” for the “ordinary family of a disabled child who took on the government and won.”