Eleanor Sibley appears in Court of Appeal about refusal of Disability Living Allowance (care component) to British child with parent working in EU

22 February 2023

Eleanor Sibley is acting as junior counsel for the AIRE Centre (a charity which provides free legal advice on human rights and EU law issues in Europe) in a pro bono intervention in the Court of Appeal.

The case concerns the refusal to award the care component of Disability Living Allowance to a disabled British national child because her father, who no longer lives with the family, works in Poland.

Legal issue

The appeal relates to EU law rules, contained in Regulation 883/2004, regarding the coordination of sickness benefits across different member states.

The court is being asked to consider how those rules work when a family unit has broken down, and a child is living in a different member state to their working parent.

The situation with which the appeal is concerned arose before the end of the Brexit transition period, when EU law still applied in the UK.

However, Regulation 883/2004 remains relevant post-Brexit because it continues to apply to many people under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

The case is called Harrington v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (C3/2020/1399).

Eleanor is being led by Tom de la Mare KC and Ravi Mehta of Blackstone Chambers. The AIRE Centre is represented, pro bono, by Herbert Smith Freehills.

View a livestream of the proceedings via YouTube.