Computer says ‘No!’ Universal Credit: Challenging Decisions and Protecting the Rights of Claimants

Universal Credit Challenging Decisions and Protecting the Rights of Claimants

London – Tuesday 20 November 2018 
Manchester – Tuesday 27 November 2018 
Time: 12:15 - 16:30

Universal credit presents itself as a shiny new benefit with all interactions via computer. However, underneath the hood, it is still run via the same basic “decision-based system” of decisions on claims and then decisions to change awards either by revision or supersession. That said, there is a new set of regulations governing decisions.

CPAG are concerned that in many cases DWP officials seem to make changes to awards or consider requests to make changes without a proper grasp that they are operating a decision-based system (for example refusing to retrospectively fix an award which has had housing costs incorrectly calculated on the basis the claimant did not tell them earlier the award was wrong despite the fact it had been wrong from the outset of the award).

This seminar will, therefore, look at some of the issues specific to universal credit that arise in connection with the rules on revision (mandatory reconsideration), supersession and appeal topics covered will include:

  • Revision, supersession and appeal rules.
  • “Gatekeeping” of mandatory reconsideration and what can be done about it.
  • When a decision is required and when it is not.
  • Problems with getting wrong decisions changed from the appropriate date.
  • The expunging of decision making history from the journal when decisions are changed.

Simon Osborne is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He is a content consultant and author of the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, editor of and contributor to the Welfare Rights Bulletin, author of Winning Your Benefit Appeal and contributor to Legal Action magazine.

Martin Williams is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He is widely experienced in representing claimants at both levels within the tribunal system, having worked in the appeals team at Lasa from 2001 until 2008. Martin has also worked as a local authority welfare rights officer and in an independent advice centre. He is currently an author of CPAG’s Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit: the legislation.

Additional speakers to be announced shortly.


The London seminar venue is Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA

The Manchester seminar venue is Garden Court North Chambers, 3rd Floor, Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester, M3 2JA 

Booking a place

The seminar will carry 3 continuing professional development (CPD) hours.