Scotland Welfare Rights Conference 2024

Our annual face to face conference returns to the University of Strathclyde's Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow on Friday 7 June 2024

About the conference

2024 will be a critical election year. What difference could it make to the future of social security, the lives of low-income families and the work of frontline advisers?  Welfare Rights 2024 provides a unique opportunity to get up to speed with the latest developments in UK and Scottish social security as well as join discussion with political leaders, social security experts and policy thinkers to discuss what’s needed next from our social security system.

The conference offers a range of topical workshops to discuss the latest on transitional protection in the move to universal credit, intensifying work-related conditions, issues for tenants getting support with rent, the latest on the roll out of Scottish benefits, preparing advisers for new Scottish benefit appeals and practical approaches to assisting prisoners and their families.

Book your delegate place

Go to the booking form

Programme for Friday 7 June 2024

09:30Arrival, registration 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 
11:00Refreshment break
11:15Workshops - morning session
12:30Lunch and exhibition stand viewing
13:30Workshops - afternoon session
14:45Refreshment break
15:00Plenary session:
 Demanding better –  what next for social security in a critical election year?


Emma Congreve Deputy Director, Fraser of Allander Institute

Gavin Kelly Chair, Resolution Foundation 

Sara Ogilvie  Director of Policy, Rights and Advocacy at CPAG

16:00Final remarks and close


Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay – rent, liability and universal credit

Henri Krishna Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Frances Ryan Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

To get your rent paid through universal credit, you must live in the property and be liable for the rent. But what happens if you are not named on a tenancy, or someone who is does not pay their share of the rent or moves out? In these situations universal credit claimants often find that they are refused housing costs or get less than they need to cover the rent. In this workshop, we will look at what should happen in these circumstances and what evidence can be provided to support a successful claim.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Social Security Chamber – current processes and future changes 

Andrew Veitch President of the Social Security Chamber

Kyle McGrath Operations Manager & Delegated Caseworker, Social Security Chamber

Jon Shaw Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

With the roll out of Scottish benefits, more of our time as advisers will be occupied by challenging Scottish benefit determinations via an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Social Security Chamber. This workshop will prepare and update advisers for what they can expect when representing at these appeals, both now and in the future. It will cover the stages of an appeal from receipt to disposal, and will include review and permission to appeal requests, some important differences from reserved benefit appeals, practical tips for representatives and some planned changes to the rules.

Prison and benefits

Alison Gillies Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Adviser Parkhead CAB's Barlinnie Prison project

Going into prison, either on remand or serving a sentence, has a significant impact on social security benefits. The rules are not consistent across different benefits and it can be difficult to get your head around the impact for individuals going into prison and being released. This workshop provides an opportunity to clarify some of the tricky issues that can arise and discuss practical approaches to assisting prisoners and their families. We will be joined by an adviser from Parkhead CAB’s Barlinnie Prison project, who will give us the benefit of their first-hand experience advising prisoners and their families.

Sanctions and conditionality

David Webster Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow Urban Studies

Angela Toal Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Parents and part-time workers increasingly have intensive work-related conditions in universal credit which exposes them to sanctions. This workshop will give a round up of recent and proposed changes to conditionality and look at what the statistics tell us about trends in how sanctions are applied. There will be an opportunity to discuss how advisers are supporting clients in practice, including tax credit claimants migrating to universal credit who are subject to conditionality for the first time.

Scottish social security - progress and plans

Moira Escreet Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

Judith Paterson Head of Advice and Rights (Scotland), CPAG in Scotland

We are six years into the devolution of benefits to Scotland.  Many people with disabilities and health conditions have already had their benefit moved to Social Security Scotland and the move for carers begins this year.  This workshop takes stock of progress, focusing on the latest on disability benefits, how carers will transfer to the new carer support payment and how it differs. Looking ahead, the workshop will discuss the next disability benefits to be devolved and plans for improvements in the Scottish system.

The transitional SDP element

Simon Osborne Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG

Some claimants with severe disabilities get an extra amount in their universal credit on transfer from legacy benefits, specifically to compensate for the absence of disability elements in universal credit. This is the transitional SDP element. But who can get it, and how does this differ from the transitional protection that is promised as part of the managed migration process? This workshop will give an update on the case law and look at what the transitional SDP element is, who qualifies and why it is mainly a feature of the natural migration process. 

Universal credit managed migration – advising on transitional protection

Mark Willis Welfare Rights Adviser, CPAG in Scotland

The move to universal credit from legacy benefits is well underway, with all remaining tax credit awards to be terminated by the end of 2024/25. The UK government’s pledge that no one would be worse off at point of transfer has not been the reality for some, while others may find themselves unexpectedly better off on universal credit. This workshop looks at how transitional protection is applied in practice, informed by the latest experiences from advisers through CPAG’s Early Warning System. It will explore ways to challenge decisions and protect against potential overpayments.

How to book your place

The cost of a delegate place, including lunch and conference materials is £245, or £196 if you are a CPAG member. 

Go to the booking form

Exhibition space

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

The 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
  • Lunch and refreshments

The cost of an exhibition package is £350 (plus VAT). Please note each additional person wishing to attend must book a separate delegate place. If you are interested in exhibiting at our conference please email [email protected]


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’s still time; see the information above, or email [email protected]

AdvicePRO logo

AdvicePro is the secure case management application which helps you work flexibly, efficiently and securely.  The system was developed in association with AdviceUK, the UKs largest network of advice-providing organisation.  AdvicePro currently assists more than 11,226 users and 660 agencies and consortia throughout the UK. 

Find out more about AdvicePro on their website

Age Scotland Logo

We work to improve the lives of people over 50 and promote their rights and interests. We help older people to be as well as they can be. 

Find out more about Age Scotland on their website

Family Fund logo

Family Fund are the UK’s largest charity providing grants including family breaks, digital equipment, white goods, clothing, and furniture to families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.  

Find out more about Family Fund on their website

Fife Gingerbread logo

At Fife Gingerbread, we support and empower Fife’s lone parents and families in need for better todays and brighter tomorrows. 

Find out more about Fife Gingerbread on their website

Home Energy Scotland logo

Home Energy Scotland offer free, impartial energy saving advice. Funded by the Scottish Government, it can also help access financial support to make homes more efficient and cheaper to heat. 

Find out more about Home Energy Scotland on their website

SFHA logo

SFHA is the membership body for, and collective voice of, housing associations and co‑operatives in Scotland.  

Our members support people’s right to live in a safe, warm and affordable home, in a thriving community. Our mission is to sustain and strengthen the impact our members have on people and communities across Scotland. 

Find out more about SFHA on their website

Social Security Scotland logo

Social Security Scotland was created to deliver a social security system for the people of Scotland based on our values of dignity, fairness and respect. 

Find out more about Social Security Scotland on their website