Welfare Rights Conference 2018

Universally discredited – How can we make the failing universal credit work for families?

Manchester Thursday 13 September 2018
London Friday 28 September 2018
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Despite a growing avalanche of evidence that universal credit (UC) is causing hardship and pushing thousands of children and their families further into poverty, the roll out of UC continues. 

The National Audit Office found that one in every five claimants do not receive their full payment on time and the DWP’s own research highlights that just over half of claimants are able to register their claim online without assistance. 

With ‘managed’ migration due to start in July 2019, the administrative and systemic problems with UC will only be magnified.

This conference will give delegates the opportunity to discuss the latest developments and hear from political leaders, policy makers and experts in the field on how best to support and advise UC claimants in such a hostile and challenging environment. 

For more details on the planned workshops and programme, together with instructions on how to book your place, please see below. 
   

Workshops

Delegates will have the opportunity to attend two workshops from the four listed below.

Claiming UC: now and under managed migration – “the one in five” failure rate 

Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG

DWP Figures show 20% of people who attempt to claim UC are refused due to failing to attend or book an interview or for other administrative reasons. With the proposed regulations on “Managed Migration” requiring claimants of legacy benefits to submit claims for UC when notified to do so, rather than a process of automatically transferring them to the new benefit, this is particularly worrying.

In this workshop we will look at:

  • The UC claims process and how DWP handling of this issue arguably differs from what is in the regulations.
  • Challenging decisions “closing” claims.
  • The proposed managed migration rules on claiming and foreseeable problems claimants are likely to encounter when instructed to claim UC.
  • Possibilities for strategic litigation in this area.
Right to reside and habitual residence tests for UC

Rebecca Walker, Author and Trainer at CPAG

Many EEA nationals are being refused universal credit on the basis that they are not accepted as being habitually resident or having a qualifying right to reside - even when they were previously receiving legacy benefits.  
This workshop will consider some of the current issues including:
  • The way the residence tests operate for UC
  • Issues for claimants previously receiving legacy benefits
  • Particular groups experiencing difficulties such as EEA nationals not considered to be working enough and those seeking to claim on the basis of a derivative right to reside 
Tactics for dealing with UC sanctions

Dan Norris, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG

Sanctions are a significant problem for the increasing number of universal credit claimants. Focussing on work related requirement sanctions, this workshop will give advisers the skills to support clients who have been sanctioned or are in danger of being sanctioned.
  • How the UC sanctions regime has increased pressure on claimants
  • How to agree work related requirements to reduce the threat of sanctions
  • Which temporary suspension of work related requirements can help your client
  • Reducing the duration of sanctions
  • Challenging sanctions
UC and disability

Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG, and Steph Pike, Acting Head of Advice and Rights at CPAG

This workshop looks at some of the main rules, problems and solutions regarding UC for people with disabilities. It aims to cover recent developments and also to allow participants to share experience and views. 
Topics covered include:
  • The WCA and transfers from ESA to UC
  • UC and severe disability  - the latest 
  • Problems and solutions in practice (work, study and others)
Programme

09.15 - 10.00 Arrival, registration, coffee and exhibition stand viewing
10:00 – 11.15 Host welcome and keynote speakers (tbc)
11.15 – 11.30 Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands
11.30 – 12.45 Workshops – morning session
12.45 – 13.30 Lunch and viewing of exhibition stands
13.30 – 14.45 Workshops – afternoon session
14.45 – 15.00 Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands
15.00 – 16.00 Panel discussion and Q&A
Confirmed Speakers

Manchester

Kate Green MP, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston
Graham Witham, Director of Greater Manchester Poverty Action
Dr Lisa Scullion, Reader in Social Policy, University of Salford 

London

Lyn Brown MP, Labour MP for West Ham
Siobhain McDonagh MP, Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden

Venue 
Our Manchester venue is the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT
Our London venue is Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2EG
Exhibition Space

There will be an exhibition space hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting, please email Sebastien at sclark@cpag.org.uk.

Booking a place 

Delegate tickets, which include a choice of four expert workshops, teas, coffees, buffet lunch and conference materials, start from £150.00 for voluntary organisations and £195 for statutory and lawyers.

To book your place(s) please complete our online booking form here

Please note that bookings cannot be processed until you have selected your workshops, and workshops will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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