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Court finds Benefits Cap unlawfully discriminates against disabled people’s carers

The High Court has today ruled that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has unjustifiably indirectly discriminated against unpaid carers for disabled family members by failing to exempt them from the Benefits Cap. The Court upheld the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s submission that carers’ Article 14 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been contravened by not considering the impact on disabled people.

Commenting in response to this ruling, Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“We are pleased that the court has found the impact on disabled people of losing a family carer had not been properly considered. The effect could be profound and the loss of a trusted carer devastating.”

“The substantial reduction of income could jeopardise the ability of those affected to continue to care for severely disabled relatives. The court noted that the Secretary of State did not provide any information to Parliament about the effect on disabled people if their family carer were unable to continue.”

“The court also held that, rather than saving public money, it would cost considerably more for the care to be provided by local authorities or the NHS.”

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