Dying boy’s family who nearly lost their home because of harsh benefits rules win High Court battle against government

25 Jul

Benefit tales

The DWP’s decision not to pay Disability Living Allowance to children in hospital long term was defeated in the Supreme Court thanks to one brave dad

At Alder Hey specialist children’s hospital in Liverpool, five-year-old Ethan Wheeler is flying down a colourful slide. The hospital and its parents’ centre, Ronald McDonald House, is as familiar to him as his home 70 miles away in Shrewsbury.

Born three months premature at his local hospital, Ethan spent the first 18 months of his life here, including three months in intensive care, and six months in a high-dependency unit. Now, regularly returning as an emergency admission, he is greeted like an old friend by doctors and nurses.

“Because of being born so early, Ethan had necrotising enterocolitis which led to him losing most of his bowel,” his mum Mell, 36, explains. “He has learning difficulties. He is non-verbal and has mild cerebral palsy…

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