Leigh Day says –
A severely ill woman is bringing a claim against the Department of Work and Pensions over an appalling series of errors in her case for extra benefit to help provide for a child who was conceived as a result of sexual assault.
The DWP failed to keep track of vital information that entitled her to benefit above the second-child funding cap, then lost a form containing confidential and sensitive information about the circumstances of the child’s conception.
Despite her being diagnosed with PTSD and severe anxiety following the sexual assault, insensitive DWP staff made the mother repeat her child’s background story on several occasions, each time claiming that the information had not been provided previously.
Pleas for a DWP interview about the special circumstances that would entitle the woman to child benefit for her third child to take place at home were repeatedly refused.
Now the woman is bringing a claim against the DWP for the way they treated her. As well as PTSD and severe depression brought on by the sexual assault she suffers multiple bouts of meningitis due to an auto-immune condition.
Represented by Leigh Day solicitors, the woman claims that that the decisions of the SSWP breached her rights under Sections 19, 20 and 21 of the Equality Act 2010 and under Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights as enacted by the Human Rights Act 1998. She believes the loss of her UC100 form raises GDPR issues and that she also has a claim under the Data Protection Act 2018.