Wednesday 16 August 2017

Nigerian mother of Irish-born girl with genetic disorder challenges refusal to grant her child benefit

The refusal to pay child benefit, counsel said, goes against EU law and must be disapplied.
The refusal to pay child benefit, counsel said, goes against EU law and must be disapplied.

THE Nigerian mother of an Irish born girl with a genetic disorder has challenged a refusal to grant her child benefit.

The mother is separately challenging a refusal to grant her and her daughter asylum, the High Court heard.

Counsel for the family said the action is being brought arising out of a decision by the Minister for Social Protection to refuse to pay child benefit, on the basis the mother does not have a right to reside in Ireland.

Counsel said both mother and the child reside in direct provision accommodation.

The child suffers from a genetic condition which requires on going medical treatment and monitoring.

The mother receives €43 per week, plus food and accommodation, and finds raising the child very difficult given the little girl's medical needs.

The child's father is a Nigeria-born Irish citizen.

The relationship with the mother is not on going and the father occasionally sees his daughter and provides small sums of money.

Counsel said the child has a right to reside in Ireland and the person whom she resides with, in this case her mother, is qualified for child benefit.

The refusal to pay child benefit, counsel said, goes against EU law and must be disapplied.

The mother also seeks declarations including that sections of the 2005 Social Welfare Consolidation Act are contrary to the EU law and are unconstitutional.

Permission to bring the action was granted by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys who said the case can come back in January.

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