Introduction to welfare rights week


This five-day course gives you a thorough introduction to meanstested benefits, universal credit and tax credits. It is essential for anyone starting off as a welfare rights adviser and those who need an understanding of the benefits system.

The emphasis is on looking at issues affecting entitlement and practising benefit calculations through case studies and using the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook 2016/17.

A complimentary copy of CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook and a certificate are awarded to those completing all five days of the course.

The course covers:

Day one

Benefits overview

This day gives you an overview of the benefits and tax credits system and a look at how the system is changing as universal credit is introduced. You will practice problem solving using the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook. It includes a description of means-tested and non-means-tested benefits and tax credits, explains how benefits work together and outlines how claims are made.

Day two

Working age benefits – eligibility

This day looks at who is eligible for the working age benefits: universal credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance. Through case studies, exercises and presentation, there is plenty of opportunity to explore the eligibility rules in detail. It gives an outline of the claims process for benefits including the employment and support allowance medical assessment.

Day three

Working age benefits – amounts

This day gives you the skills you need to be able to work out how much universal credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment and support allowance someone is entitled to. You will learn about the allowances, premiums and components that make up these benefits, and how income and capital affect entitlement. Much of the learning is through practical examples and case studies.

Day four

Housing benefit

This day covers help with rent. You will learn why housing benefit may not cover all of the rent and how to work out entitlement. It looks at who is eligible, the allowances premiums and components that make up benefit and explains the means test. You will also learn about discretionary housing payments and how to claim them.

Day five

Tax credit

This day will give you the skills to check tax credit payments, looking at who is eligible for child tax credit and working tax credit, how to claim and how decisions are made. It will give you a basic guide to calculating tax credits.


David SticklandSteve Johnson and Ros White