Welfare Rights Conference 2017

Universal Credit – Understanding and Managing the Risks for Families

Manchester Thursday 7 September 2017
London Thursday 14 September 2017

This year's conferences focused on the very real risks facing families as the roll out of Universal Credit continues.  The full Universal Credit service will replace new claims for a number of benefits across all 381 local authorities by June 2018. The migration of claimants on ‘legacy’ benefits is not due to be completed until 2022, at the earliest.

Our conferences informed, analysed and sparked discussion about the prolonged period of huge change to the welfare rights environment. Increasingly, families and the advisers working with families needed to understand how Universal Credit is supposed to work, how it has changed since it was first launched, who the winners and losers are, and the lessons learned from the early implementation of the new system. 

It also offered an invaluable opportunity to hear from expert speakers, attend focused workshops, and network and share ideas with advisers from across the country.

The slides from our workshops are available for download: Universal credit - strictly full service (slides)Universal credit and work capability (slides)Universal credit and conditionality (slides) and The two-child limit (slides).


Universal credit - strictly full service 

Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

Universal credit full service is rolling out at an increasing rate. Advising claimants or potential claimants in full service areas poses several practical issues for advisers.

We will consider some of these issues:

  • UC Journal- the standard method of interaction with the universal credit system- what issues arise for advisers in accessing the journal? Troubleshooting other issues with the journal.
  • Problems with disclosure of information to advisers.
  • Mandatory reconsideration gatekeeping.
  • DWP misadvising claimants to claim UC.

Universal credit and work capability

Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

With the roll-out of the full service, increasing numbers of new claimants who are too ill to work are required to claim universal credit, as well as those transferring from employment and support allowance.

This workshop looks at some key rules and processes, including:

  • the work capability assessment in the UC system
  • transition from ESA to UC
  • recent and forthcoming changes and case law.

Universal credit and conditionality 

Nizam Ahmed and Dan Norris, Welfare Rights Workers, CPAG 

Universal credit introduces a harsher regime of labour market requirements. Sanctioned claimants may end up subsisting on money intended for payment of rent. This workshop considers some of the problems and potential solutions.

We focus on:

  • The requirement to perform a certain number of hours of jobsearch each week (35 hours default)
  • Work search requirements whilst waiting to be assessed for ‘limited capability for work'
  • Removal of rule based exemptions for those in certain situations (such as carers of young children during the summer holidays where no child care arrangements can be made)

The two-child limit

Ros White, Head of Advice and Rights, CPAG

This workshop will examine the two-child limit in tax credits, universal credit, housing benefit, income support and income-based jobseeker’s allowance. It will cover the detail of how the two-child limit is being implemented, who is affected and the intended exceptions and will also examine potential legal challenges.

Exhibition Space

We often have an exhibition space hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting at future conferences please, email Sebastien at sclark@cpag.org.uk.

Welfare Rights Conference 2015

Welfare Rights Conference 2015