Scotland Welfare Rights Conference
Annual Conference: Welfare Rights 2013
Friday 14 June 2013, 10am to 4pm
Scottish Youth Theatre, The Old Sheriff Court, 105 Brunswick Street, Glasgow G1 1TF
This year sees the biggest change to the benefits system in over sixty years. Universal credit begins to replace means-tested working age benefits and tax credits. Heralded as setting a ‘new course for the welfare state’, its introduction comes at a time when family budgets, especially those of the poorest, disabled people and those in social housing, continue to be squeezed by ongoing cuts. Child poverty is set to rise and Scotland’s families and those who advise them will face huge new challenges.
This conference provides an opportunity to find out more about how universal credit will work and get up to speed on the other latest developments in social security, all within the context of a constitutional debate that will shape where welfare powers lie from 2014.
The annual conference for welfare rights workers, other advisers and policy workers in Scotland.
9.30 Arrival, registration, coffee and exhibition stand viewing
10.00 Setting the scene
- John Dickie, Head of CPAG in Scotland
- Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister
11.10 Workshops – morning session
12.30 Lunch and exhibition stand viewing
1.30 Workshops – afternoon session (repeat of morning sessions)
3.00 Universal credit Q&A session
- Chaired by Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, CPAG
- Graham Mowat, Universal Credit Programme, Department for Work and Pensions
4.00 Final remarks and close
Bedroom taxes and benefit caps
Mark Willis, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG in Scotland
The ‘bedroom tax’ has been described as this government’s poll tax, affecting thousands of people in social housing, causing widespread poverty and putting families at risk of homelessness. At the same time, the benefit cap affects a relatively small number of larger families, but with potentially devastating impacts on children. This workshop examines the rules, caselaw and any challenges to these provisions as well as looking at the guidance for discretionary housing payments. It will also include a brief look ahead at how these and other rules including non-dependant deductions will operate under the housing element of universal credit.
Personal independence payment implementation and implications
Alison Gillies, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG in Scotland
Jon Shaw, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG in Scotland
Personal independence payment (PIP) will arrive in Scotland the week of our conference, replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA) for new claims. This workshop gives an overview of the initial claims and assessment process, and briefly looks at the activities to be assessed in deciding entitlement to the new benefit.
Scottish Welfare Fund
Douglas Proudfoot, Policy Manager, COSLA
Judith Paterson, Welfare Rights Co-ordinator, CPAG in Scotland
Community care grants and crisis loans have gone. The Scottish Welfare Fund has taken over responsibility from April 2013 for assessing grants for people in an emergency or in support of independent living. This workshop looks at who can get these grants and how they are assessed. With optimism that the new scheme in Scotland can provide a better joined up service but also concern about how local authorities will manage demand on a fixed budget, this workshop takes an early look at how local authorities are managing to deliver the scheme.
Surviving universal credit: vulnerable claimants, budgeting and the digital by default agenda
Henri Krishna, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG in Scotland
Universal credit introduces significant changes in the way benefits are claimed and paid. There will be no paper claims forms, awards will normally be managed online and payments will be made monthly in one lump sum payment. Much of this is in the name of simplification. But what about those claimants who get into difficulties or cannot manage?
This workshop will examine the background to these changes, the policy intent, when exceptions might be made and the support that is available for claimants who are finding it difficult to manage.
Universal credit and carers
Angela Toal, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG in Scotland
Huge changes to benefits for people with a disability and/or caring responsibilities will be introduced by universal credit, starting in late 2013. This workshop will look at the differences between entitlement under the current benefits system and under the universal credit system. How can you maximise entitlement under the new system? Who will be better off under the universal credit system? What if you are both disabled and a carer? The workshop will take a practical approach to the issue.
Work capability and assessment: changes and appeals
Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG
This workshop will review recent changes to the work capability assessment (WCA) and discuss issues relating to WCA appeals before the First-tier Tribunal.
In particular it will consider:
- Changes to the WCA from 28 January and subsequent developments
- Recent important WCA caselaw with particular regard to appeals and tribunal procedure
- Current tactical issues for representatives in WCA appeals
Our 2013 conference will be held at the Scottish Youth Theatre in The Old Sheriff Court, 105 Brunswick Street, Glasgow G1 1TF (see map). There are good public transport links to the Scottish Youth Theatre and the conference is fully wheelchair accessible.
We will have an exhibition space hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting at our conference find out more here or email email@example.com.
Booking a place and further information
Delegate places are £120. To book delegate place(s) or an exhibtion stand please complete our online booking form or print off our conference programme and complete the booking form. Please note that bookings cannot be processed until you have selected your workshops.
'Workshops directly relevant to my work'
'Fantastic day, essential for welfare rights workers'
'Great for networking'