The first edition of NAWRA News is out now.

It has recently come to light that around 75,000 incapacity benefit claimants lost out when they were migrated over to contributory ESA (cESA) but not assessed for income-related ESA (irESA).

Find out how the DWP intends to contact those affected and NAWRA’s advice for advisers in NAWRA News.

NAWRA News is in the members area of their website.  Those of you within NAWRA should have already received an email detailing how to access using a password. If not, please talk to your NAWRA representative.


URGENT information for tomorrow’s meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group.

Please see below for details of how to access the room tomorrow:-

Venue: Town Hall Extension, St Peters Square/Lloyd Street

Room: 4003, ‘Baguley’

For those of you who attended the January meeting this is the same room.

Access to the Town Hall Extension is by by way of sliding glass doors at the Cenotaph/St Peters Square end of Lloyd Street (see map below).

Buzz the FM reception on the intercom to open glass sliding doors, then turn to right and go into FM office. They will issue a red visitor card.

Go through the swing barriers, using card, and take stairs or lift to 4th floor. Turn left from the lifts, through double doors, and room ‘4003’ is on right hand side.

Please bring any hot drinks with you.

Room update for the imminent meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group.

Full details of the next meeting have been previously posted at

That post did promise to inform attendees of the room for the meeting, We can now confirm it will take place in room 4003. We’ll see you there.

A quick update on tomorrow’s GMSCG meeting.

Full details if the meeting can be found at but we just wanted to let members know that we’re planning to live stream Lucy Cadd from Leigh Day during the morning meeting.

If you’re not in the GM area or unable to attend the meeting please keep an eye on the @GMWRAGtweets Twitter account tomorrow for details of the precise time we’ll be going live. As per our first broadcast we’ll be doing this via Periscope and you’ll need either an account with them or to log in using Twitter, Google or Cambridge Analytica Facebook. At this stage we have no indication as to whether we’ll be able to keep a permanent record of the stream via YouTube so please don’t miss the stream and assume you’ll be able to watch it later. It may not happen.

Periscope offers the facility to ask questions during the stream so we’ll happily put these to Lucy if time allows.

if you know of anyone with an interest in the live stream please let them know, RT, etc. We’ll see you there.

Next meeting of the Greater Manchester Strategic Casework Group.

The next meeting of the Greater Manchester Strategic Casework Group will take place on Wednesday the 21st of March 2018. It is a game of two halves and the agenda currently looks as follows:

10:00am to 13:00pm

Garden Court North Chambers, Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester, M3 2JA


1) ‘Rutherford’  and ‘Bedroom Tax’. The case  taken to the Supreme Court.

Sangeeta Enright, formerly caseworker at Ridley and Hall, (solicitors) and Tom Royston of Garden Court Chambers.

2)  Update on ‘ripple-bob’ [working title] – proposal for a share and refer digital platform (and not a discussion on near space astronomical object!).

Jo Chimes, Equality Project Lead at Rossendale Citizens Advice. 

3) Attendees brief activity


4) ‘Small claims courts’ and compensation for claimants, using duties under the  Equality Act 2010 – Kester Dean.

5) Update on some recent JR applications over Universal Credit  and current Court of Appeal stage in the argument regarding applying the Human Rights Act to social security appeals by way of the Carmichael case – Lucy Cadd from Leigh Day solicitors.

6) Cases and issues update, including disputes over reasonableness of home visits for claim assessments.

7) Any other business.

Details of what we’re doing in the afternoon will have already been circulated to the small select group of invitees (that’s got you intrigued :)). More information as we have it.

For those new to the Strategic Casework Group, its purposes are:

  • use a strategic approach to stop wrong and harmful decisions and actions by the DWP,  its agents, and HMRC, alongside revisions and appeals
  • share experience, knowledge and practice as widely as possible
  • use the Equality Act 2010, public law duties and human rights legislation
  • promote the take up of this approach, with advisors and others
  • produce strategic casework materials, provide training, and develop process for referrals to specialist legal advice and representation

Can you help Panorama?

With thanks to Ken Butler of Disability Rights UK.

Kathleen Mullin of BBC’s Panorama programme is asking for help with the following –

“BBC Panorama is interested in speaking to people about their experience with the universal credit system.

If you would like to speak to the research team please call 07714 956 934.

Thanks very much to any advisers or their clients who can help.”

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group is upon us.

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group will be on Friday the 23rd March at 9.30am for a 10am start at Manchester Town Hall.

Details of the room and how to access it are to follow but can we please have volunteers to chair and to take minutes?

The minutes of the last meeting can be found in the usual places.

We will be discussing the group’s “Mission Statement.”,  which you can view by clicking on the foregoing link. This is the blurb that we have used in the past on letters and responses to consultations but, as you can see, it needs updating!

We will also have a discussion about PIP decisions post the RF judgement and the Government’s announcement that it will trawl cases for incorrect decisions. Members may also want to read the minutes of the last GMWRAG meeting which provide significant detail on the live-streamed talk re: RF and what should happen next.

Please bring any (anonymised) cases that you want to discuss.

Leigh Day need case studies to support their JR case on lack of transitional protection in natural migration/

With thanks to our friends at Rightsnet for bringing this to our attention and now yours.

Tessa Gregory and Lucy Cadd from the law firm Leigh Day are bringing a judicial review challenge to the discontinuance of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) and Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) contained in legacy benefits when individuals are transferred, or ‘naturally migrated’, to Universal Credit (“UC”) without any transitional protection to cover the resulting significant shortfall to their income.

We represent two individuals who have lost their disability premia by virtue of moving house, into another UC full service borough. The two individuals are bringing anonymised claims and are known as ‘TP’ and ‘AR’, they both suffer from physical and/or mental health conditions. The loss of their SDP and EDP has resulted in a loss of approximately £200 per month, which is causing them significant financial and emotional hardship.

We have now reached the stage of the judicial review in which we need to collate and prepare supportive evidence. It would be helpful for the court to be provided with other case studies which show the broad and varied range of situations in which individuals are caught by the UC provisions, as well as the different impact that the loss of the SDP and EDP has had on peoples’ lives.

If any of your clients, or anybody you have been in contact with, have been moved on to UC as natural migrants, and have had their legacy benefits discontinued, in particular their SDP and EDP which had been paid through their ESA as a result of them being in receipt of DLA or PIP, we would be extremely grateful if you could provide a short summary of their situation which sets out how they came to be on UC and how the loss of their SDP/EDP is affecting them.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information. Our contact details are Tessa Gregory – and Lucy Cadd –

More information can be found at

Top quality videos about Universal Credit from Housing Systems.

GMWRAG has written extensively in the past about the increasingly bewildering beast which is Universal Credit and the many, equally bewildering, attempts to explain it to us as advisers and indeed claimants. We continue to be largely bemused by DWP attempts on this front.

Soooo, it gives us a certain amount of pleasure to bring to your attention some jolly good videos from our friends at Housing Systems.

We are particularly enamoured by their rather splendid attempt to wholly muddy the waters of the “lobster pot” by introducing the concept of “Universal Credit as a smoothie?” Monty Python graphics combined with a simple explanation. Indeed it’s so effective we think they should remove the question mark. Like GMWRAG they have a YouTube account and you can find it at GMWRAG has already subscribed and is looking forward to more along the same lines if only to see how they’re going to reconcile fruit salads, smoothies and lobsters 🙂

We’ve posted links to two of the three videos below. Enjoy and subscribe.