Scotland's Welfare Rights Conference 2023

Friday 9 June 2023

University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow


**Bookings closed**


As we return for our first face to face conference in three years the challenges facing low-income families and the welfare rights and frontline workers who advise and support them are greater than ever. The ongoing cost of living crisis, universal credit migration, the benefit issues EU nationals face following Brexit and planned changes to work capability assessments with implications for Scotland’s new disability payments are all issues adding to the challenge of ensuring people get the social security support they are entitled to.

Welfare Rights 2023 provides a unique opportunity to learn all about these latest developments, giving you the tools to maximise the incomes of the people you work with. It will also give you a chance to join discussion with political leaders, social security experts and policy thinkers to discuss what’s needed next from our social security systems if we are serious about ending child poverty in Scotland.


9.30 Arrival, registration, coffee and exhibition stand viewing
10.00 Setting the scene
  John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland
  Keynote Speaker:
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice
11.00 Coffee
11.15 Workshops - morning session (see below for choices)
12.30 Lunch and exhibition stand viewing
1.30 Workshops - afternoon session (repeat of morning sessions)
2.45 Coffee
3.00 Plenary session
  Ending child poverty: what's needed from our social security systems?
  Speakers to include:
  • Alison Garnham, CEO, CPAG
  • Dave Hawkey, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR Scotland*
  • Dr Ruth Patrick Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of York


  • Morag Treanor Professor of Child and Family Inequalities, University of Glasgow
4.00 Final remarks and close


* Change of Speaker from Russell Gunson, Co-Chair of the Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group and Head of Progarmmes and Practice, The Robertson Trust


You can choose two workshops from this list when booking your delegate place;


Craig Dutton, DWP

Kirsty McKechnie Early Warning System Project Manager, CPAG in Scotland

Alison Lord Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

The current contract for delivering work capability assessments is due for renewal next year.  Meanwhile, the UK government has announced plans to abolish the WCA in the next Parliament in a restructuring of benefits that would have major implications for disabled people and those with health conditions. What is happening? And what can claimants expect in the meantime? Hear from the DWP policy team about plans for the WCA in the short and long term. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions.


Barbara Donegan Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Angela Toal Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Frazer Scott, CEO, Energy Action Scotland

The cost of living crisis means that social security benefits are less able than ever to protect people from poverty. This workshop examines different sources of support available to those on a low income or in crisis to meet their essential living costs – particularly food and fuel. There will be an opportunity for discussion about how to alleviate both short- and long-term poverty. Topics will include cost of living payments, the Scottish Welfare Fund, budgeting loans and sources of support for energy bills.


Alison Gillies Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Moira Escreet Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

David Hilber Team Leader, Case Transfer Policy & DACBEAG, Social Security Policy Division, Scottish Government

The introduction in 2022 of adult disability payment – the working-age disability benefit for people living in Scotland – is the most significant change to date in the devolution of parts of the social security system to Scotland. This workshop provides an opportunity to consider the process of transfer for existing personal independence payment and adult disability living allowance claimants onto adult disability payment. We will look at some of the issues and questions that can arise for claimants and for advisers. There will be an opportunity to take stock of how things are going so far and to discuss your own experiences of the process.


Henri Krishna Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Jon Shaw Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Leaving the EU has not made advising EU nationals and their family members about their benefit entitlements any easier.

This workshop will give an overview of what rights to benefits those affected by Brexit now have. It will examine recent developments in case law, particularly for those with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme who are at risk of destitution. There will be opportunities to discuss the type of issues advisers come across when advising EU nationals and their family members.


Mark Willis Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Frances Ryan Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

This workshop looks at the next phase of the introduction of universal credit in Scotland, managed migration, when the DWP will contact claimants and tell them that their legacy benefits and tax credits are being terminated. This workshop will set out the legal process of migration notices, deadline dates and transitional protection, and provide an update on what we have learned from experiences so far, with particular concern for vulnerable clients.


Simon Osborne Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG

A claim for universal credit can be backdated but only in certain circumstances, and the DWP does not make it easy. This workshop looks at the rules on backdating, some of the practical problems and what recent caselaw has to say. In particular, we will consider what claimants can do to ensure that they get the maximum backdating the facts in their claim allow, with reference both to the developing caselaw authority and what claimants and advisers encounter in practice.


This conference is the only one of its kind in Scotland and interest is always high - so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The £225 (£202.50 for members) price includes a choice of six expert workshops, teas, coffees, buffet lunch and some conference materials.


**Bookings closed**

The conference is fully wheelchair accessible.


University of Strathclyde, Technology and Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD

There are good public transport links to the University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre.

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We will have an exhibition space hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services.

An exhibition package includes:

  • One exhibitor place
  • Attendance at all conference sessions including an AM and PM workshop
  • A 4 foot table, table cloth and chair
  • Organisation information at conference and profile on the website
  • Lunch and refreshments

Price of exhibition package £325 (plus VAT)

**Exhibition stand bookings now closed**

Please note each additional person wishing to attend must book a separate delegate place


We are delighted that the following organisations will be joining us in the conference’s exhibition area. If you would like to book an exhibition stand there is still time. See the information above.



Age Scotland

Helping you to work efficiently, securely and flexibly; AdvicePro is a fully-managed, secure web-based case management system developed specifically for advice organisations and being used in a variety of other settings including by housing associations, local authorities, universities and public and commercial services. It captures client personal and socio-economic details and casework information over a wide range of matter types.



The Age Scotland helpline offers information, advice and friendship to those aged over 50, their carers and families all over Scotland.

CAS Scotland

Home Energy Scotland

Representatives from the CAS Help to Claim and Money Talk Team services sharing how we support people living in Scotland with Universal Credit; money issues and help we can provide to improve our clients’ financial outcomes.

Citizens Advice Scotland (



Home Energy Scotland helps people in Scotland create warmer homes, reduce their energy bills, and lower their carbon footprint. We are funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust.

Financially Included, GEMAP Scotland

Social Security Scotland

Financially Included is a partnership project between GEMAP and the Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership. We specialise in economic and financial abuse, and the economic impact of gender-based violence.

Social Security Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government. Its purpose is to administer the Scottish Social Security system effectively, in accordance with the principles in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 and Charter.

Social Security Scotland - Homepage

Disability Information Scotland

advice direct scotland

Our national helpline and information resources provide reliable, accurate and accessible information for people living with a disability in Scotland.

We also deliver training on making information accessible here.


Advice Direct Scotland provide free, practical, and impartial advice and information on a range of subjects, including energy and debt-related matters, supporting the citizens of Scotland through the cost-of-living crisis.


Buttle UK

SCOSS logo

Buttle UK is a grant-giving charity dedicated to helping children and young people in crisis in the UK: those living in financial hardship and dealing with multiple challenging social issues.

The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) is an independent, advisory NDPB, which undertakes scrutiny of the Scottish Social Security System. 

Home - Scottish Commission on Social Security (


Family Fund Kinship Care

Family Fund is the UK’s largest grant-making charity for families raising disabled or seriously ill children, on the lowest incomes. In our 50th year, we are needed more than ever.

The Kinship Care Advice Service for Scotland (KCASS) provides FREE, confidential, impartial advice to Kinship Families and Professionals working with them.