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Families lose DLA when their child is in hospital

(20 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Goldmandra Wed 08-Jul-15 17:12:41

Anyone who has had a child admitted to hospital, which I imagine is a lot of MNers, will be very aware of the extra strain this places on us as a family, emotionally, logistically and financially.

Families whose children have severe or complex health needs face losing their DLA if their child is admitted to hospital for more than 84 days at one time.

Often these children are some considerable distance from home and travel, food and accommodation expenses alone can be astronomical.

Families in receipt of DLA don't suddenly stop caring for their children just because they are in receipt of medical treatment. Nurses don't take over the day to day caring - parents are expected to stay and provide it. Even if they did provide it, who would want to walk away and leave it to strangers anyway?

It is grossly unfair that these parents stand to lose, not only their DLA at these times but also other associated benefits too, e.g. carers allowance, tax credits.

Please consider signing this petition to prompt a change in the rules to enable these families to continue to claim this important allowance and enable them to focus on their children at the times they need to most.

LeChien Wed 08-Jul-15 17:27:25

Signed. I had no idea that happened.
Luckily my son has only ever been in hospital for short times, but the impact on the family for even a day takes its toll, I can't begin to imagine the impact during a long haul stay. I can't believe that DLA stops after a certain length of time!

Baaaaaaaaaaaa Wed 08-Jul-15 17:39:24

It's always been this way. DLA is for the additional living expenses if the child (person - it applies to adults too) and if they are in hospital they are seen as not having additional expenses. It's not for the family's expenses.

Ditto carer's allowance. If they're in hospital long term the 'carer' is no longer doing the care.

Yes, it seems unfair, but it is how it's always been.

Said as a carer of dd for 34 years.

x2boys Wed 08-Jul-15 17:46:37

my son gets DLA aand i get carers allowance but hasnt this always happened? i was a mental health nurse for many years and remember all benefits stopped after six weeks correct me of course i f i,m wrong?

Goldmandra Wed 08-Jul-15 18:05:11

Sorry if my post implies that it is new. No, it isn't. It has been in place for quite some time but the fact that it has always been like this doesn't make it right.

DLA is paid to parents to help with the extra costs of caring for a child with a disability. Those costs don't go away because a child is in hospital, in fact they are greater, and the parents are still fully expected to continue to care for their child during that time.

I'm sure there was a time when children received all the care they needed from hospital staff and these spells in hospital could, I suppose have been seen as breaks for parents but that is no longer the case, even for children in hospital long term. We all know how pushed hospital staff are these days so they do not have the time to offer the kind of care that is covered by DLA to all of their patients.

WhetherOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 18:31:38

It is no different for pensioners! Income cuts during long hospital stays means no bills paid........and possibly eviction/electric being cut off.

Kamden Wed 08-Jul-15 18:31:47

DLA is to cover the extra costs of living with a disability, costs above what an average child would need. I suppose the idea behind it is that anyone - disabled or not - will find that their family members incur massive costs as a result of long term hospitalistion.

Please bear in mind, it's just not children. There are adults who need their family members to still provide care in hospital e.g. those who have learning disabilities.

NotCitrus Wed 08-Jul-15 18:35:30

There's a court case ruling by the Supreme Court today that rules this illegal - hope it filters through the system ASAP. It's on the BBC website.

Shineyshoes10 Wed 08-Jul-15 20:05:57

This applies to adults too and theirs stops after 4 weeks. You also lose the severe disability premium from esa after 4 weeks too. It doesn't even have to be 4 (12 for children) consecutive weeks! If you aren't at home for more than 4 weeks in between each hospital stay they carry on counting. As if all the extra costs just stop.

If they're in hospital long term the 'carer' is no longer doing the care
I disagree. So the carer isn't the one helping them to the toilet/get washed/changed/eat. They aren't the one still preparing and giving medication/cleaning up sick/doing 2 sessions of physio a day because the physiotherapist can only fit 2 sessions in. Buying food they will/can eat. Providing all supervision because they can't be left alone but under staffing means there isn't the staff to provide it.

Goldmandra Wed 08-Jul-15 21:46:28

* There are adults who need their family members to still provide care in hospital e.g. those who have learning disabilities.*

Good point, although is this perhaps a different matter if they get PIP, rather than DLA.

Kamden Wed 08-Jul-15 21:51:59

Many people have not migrated to DLA and won't for another while yet.

Goldmandra Wed 08-Jul-15 22:13:46

Does anyone know if the same applies to PIP? Call me cynical but I wouldn't be surprised if it stopped sooner than 84 days.

Goldmandra Wed 08-Jul-15 22:18:59

Well I didn't know they were going to court today!

Just saw this on the CAF website.

Becca19962014 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:24:53

28 days is when it stops for PIP, with the same linking as for DLA.

The last time I was in hospital someone was expected to come in daily with clean clothes and even to help me wash as there weren't enough staff at the weekend - neither was an option as I have no one to provide care at present.

Shineyshoes10 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:27:12

Adult DLA already stops at 28 days.

confused as to how the government think all care needs are met free of charge in hospital whether that's for a child or an adult that's not my experience.

TheHormonalHooker Wed 08-Jul-15 22:30:30

I was just coming on to say it's even more unfair for disabled adults. It's quite easy to wrack up 28 days in hospital, especially when they don't have to be consecutive.

Becca19962014 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:46:20

And for mentally ill patients who can be sectioned without consent for 28 days AND consequently lose their DLA.

I do intend to read the ruling tomorrow when I'm more awake - thanks whoever posted a link to that.

Maybe in terms of thinking all needs are met in hospital they are thinking back to 1992 (I think!) when DLA was first introduced and it was the case then?

x2boys Wed 08-Jul-15 23:00:09

thats always happened Becca i was a mental health nurse for many years before i resigned to look after my disabled son and patients lost most of their benefits after six weeks i think it was.

Becca19962014 Wed 08-Jul-15 23:10:35

Yes I know, sorry I wasn't very clear in my post. Thats what happens when I'm posting on forums when knackered! Sorry if I confused anyone.

YetAnotherBeckyMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 09-Jul-15 11:39:33

Hi OP

We are just going to move this one over to our petitions section.

Thanks

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