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 

This year's conferences focused on the growing avalanche of evidence that universal credit (UC) is causing hardship and pushing thousands of children and their families further into poverty. 

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.

Our conferences informed, analysed and sparked discussion on the latest developments and 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:  Claiming UC now and under managed migrationRight to reside and habitual residence tests for UCTactics for dealing with UC sanctions and UC and disability. To download the workshop notes, please see the right hand side of this page.

Workshops

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)

 

Welfare Rights Conference 2015

Welfare Rights Conference 2015

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