Call for change to child disability benefits

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LIVINGSTON Labour MP Graeme Morrice is calling for changes to benefit rules which are causing misery to hundreds of families with disabled children when they are at their most vulnerable.

Existing regulations mean a child under the age of 16 who is eligible for Disability Living Allowance stops receiving payments after 84 days in hospital. Suspension of the child’s DLA means the parents’ carers’ allowance is also stopped.

Mr Morrice said: “The families of sick or severely disabled children who have to spend prolonged periods of time in hospital are clearly amongst those in greatest need of extra support. It is grossly unfair that these families are currently being denied much needed financial assistance when their child has to spend more than 84 days in hospital. This can be financially devastating to parents who find themselves penalised simply for being with their child in hospital.

“Parents facing the stress of a child spending a lengthy period in hospital deserve to have some peace of mind about the extra costs that this entails, rather than having to worry about how to make ends meet. I want the government to think again and ensure that families in this situation are no longer financially disadvantaged.”