Welfare Rights Conference 2019
Manchester - Thursday 12 September 2019
London - Friday 27 September 2019
This year’s conference focused on the impact of Brexit and the continued uncertainty for EU citizens.
There were updates on the latest developments - including the treatment of mixed-age couples and the latest position on the migration of people onto universal credit - as well as an opportunity to hear from expert speakers, attend focused workshops and network and share ideas with advisers from across the country.
Download the conference materials and slides here.
Brexit and benefits
Rebecca Walker, Benefits for Migrants Handbook author and CPAG trainer
Advising EEA nationals, their family members and carers, on benefit entitlements has been made more complex by confusion over Brexit related changes, but for some, it has been simplified by the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme.
This workshop aims to clear up confusions and clarify some of the current issues including:
• The benefit consequences of a claimant obtaining Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
• The most significant recent developments in legislation and caselaw
• What is known of the way entitlements will change in the future
Migration to UC – the latest
Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG
This workshop reviews the latest on the migration to universal credit (UC) from legacy benefits. It concentrates on rules and practice regarding ‘managed’ migration of existing claimants of legacy benefits to UC, but also updates on the latest legal developments in ‘natural’ migration. It looks at the current state of the law, DWP approaches to applying that law, and some of the likely key areas of interest/concern.
Topics covered included:
• Managed migration in law and practice – the regulations explained and how the DWP are operating the process in the initial piloting phase
• Managed migration - in particular, claims, transitional protection and other key subject areas
• Natural migration update – legal developments re: severely disabled claimants and ‘transitional payments’
Judicial Review: using the pre-action protocol to get what your client wants
Jessica Strode, Judicial Review Project Worker at CPAG
An increasing number of welfare benefit decisions are not open to appeal and fast paced and extensive welfare reform can result in poor decision making, delays and inaccurate guidance being issued to decision makers. Using the judicial review pre-action protocol you can challenge decisions without a right of appeal, end delays for your clients, and enhance future decision making by improving decision making guidance - all without using a solicitor or going to court.
This workshop looked at:
• When judicial review will succeed
• The tools available to help you
• What you can achieve by using the pre-action protocol
• Where to turn for further support
Mixed age couples and UC
Dan Norris, Head of Rights and Advice at CPAG
This workshop looked at the background to changes in the rules governing benefit claims for mixed-age couples that were introduced on 15 May 2019. We will examine the legislation introducing the changes as well as the savings provisions for couples already claiming Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit, and will also have time to discuss common problems arising for people affected by the change.
Our Manchester conference took place at the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, 48 Grafton St, Manchester M13 9XX.
Our London conference took place at Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2EG.