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 conference focuses 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. This represents a prolonged period of huge change to the welfare rights environment. Increasingly, families and the advisers working with families will need 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 to learn from the early implementation of the new system.
A number of reports from CPAG and others have put forward concerns that Universal Credit’s funding levels, policy design and implementation are introducing a number of risks for families with children which advisers need to understand and help mitigate. CPAG’s #fitforfamilies campaign has highlighted the problems for families of the cuts to work allowances, the six-week wait and the two-child policy.
Our conference will help you provide the best possible advice and representation for families on or about to go on Universal Credit.
Hear from speakers about the latest developments in policy, practice and the law and, in the workshops, talk directly to our sector-leading experts on the key Universal Credit issues.
9.15 - 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
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.
Our Manchester venue is the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT
Our London venue is Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA
We will have an exhibition space at both conferences hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting at our conference, please email Sebastien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booking a place
Booking prices start from £133 for voluntary organisations and £175.75 for statutory and lawyers.
Delegate tickets include a choice of four expert workshops, teas, coffees, buffet lunch and conference materials.
The conference will carry 3 continuing professional development (CPD) hours.
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.