A disabled 19 year old is challenging the PIP regulation that suspends PIP after 28 days in hospital, solicitors Leigh Day have revealed.
Cameron Mitchell cannot walk or speak.
He experiences frequent seizures and muscle spasms and is fed through a tube. He has spent several periods of his life in hospital and recently had hospital care from 27 December, 2020 to 30 June, 2021.
His mother is Cameron’s full-time carer and has provided indispensable support to medical staff while her son is in hospital.
His father also supports Cameron. After Cameron’s condition stabilised but before it was possible to discharge him from hospital, Cameron’s family took him on daily trips outdoors, and as his sole carers, provided essential care such as suctioning his chest, looking after his stoma bag, monitoring his condition and the machines that support him.
However, Cameron’s weekly PIP payments of £152.15 and his mother’s weekly carer’s allowance of £67.60 were stopped in May and they now face an overpayment reaching back to 25 January.
Leigh Day have sent a pre-action protocol letter to the DWP asking them to reinstate Cameron’s PIP and change the law so that it no longer discriminates against severely disabled individuals whose essential care needs cannot be met without ongoing input from a known carer.
Leigh Day solicitor Carolin Ott said:
“Our client is arguing that the rule requiring suspension of PIP discriminates between disabled adults who require hospitalisation for more than 28 days, whose care needs cannot be met other than with the input of a known carer, as compared to those who are hospitalised for less than 28 days.
“His case is also that the rule causes disproportionate disadvantage to individuals whose neurodisability means that their care needs cannot be met other than by the presence of a known carer. Our client is arguing that the rule runs contrary to the purpose of PIP, a benefit intended to provide support for disability-related costs taking into account an individual’s needs.”