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DLA and PIP: payments time limits removed for under 18s in hospital

From 6 July 2016, the rules for children who enter hospital and who receive DLA (and PIP when it is introduced on 20 June 2016) are changing.  

Until 6 July, a child under the age of 16 ceases to receive DLA and PIP after 84 days of being a hospital in-patient.  A child who is over the age of 16 but under the age of 18 will cease to receive DLA or PIP after the 28th day. 

From 6 July, the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 change the existing rules [1] so that a child under the age of 18 on the day in which they enter hospital can receive DLA or PIP for the duration of their stay in hospital.  It will not be time limited.

The Regulations have been introduced following the UK Supreme Court decision in Mathieson v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2] which was delivered on 8 July 2015.  The Supreme Court ruled that the 28 and 84 day restrictions were discriminatory and could not be objectively justified as pursuing a legitimate aim.

In addition, the Regulations provide that any person under 18 when they begin their treatment as a hospital in-patient who might otherwise be invited to make a fresh claim for PIP will not have to do so until their treatment as an inpatient ends.  Their award of DLA will be protected during the entirety of their stay in hospital.


[1] These Regulations amend the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992, the Personal Independence Payment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the Personal Independence Payment (Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016.

[2] Cameron Mathieson, a deceased child (by his father Craig Mathieson) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Respondent) [2015] UKSC 47



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