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Sara Francis v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2005] EWCA Civ 1303

Social security claimants with residence orders in respect of children should be treated in the same way as birth parents or adoptive parents of those children for the purposes of claiming maternity grants or any similar payments in respect of those children.

25 November 2005

The appellant (F) appealed against the decision of a Social Security Commissioner that she was not entitled to social security benefit in the form of a maternity grant under the Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 1987, reg 5. F had obtained a residence order under the Children Act 1989, s 8 in relation to her nephew before he was 12 months old. F had obtained child benefit for the child and was in receipt of a child premium in her income support. Although F satisfied the means test and professional advice conditions in the Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 1987 reg 5(1)(a) and reg 5(1)(bb) her claim for a maternity grant was refused. F appealed to the Social Security Commissioner arguing that she should be treated in the same was as an adopter under reg 5(1)(b) of the 1987 Regulations and that not to do so was discriminatory. The commissioner found that it was clear from a comparison of the statutory provisions relating to an...

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