Benefits, safe-guarding and vulnerability. Bedtime reading for the Trafford GMWRAG meeting.

GMWRAG doesn’t often set members background reading but if you’re coming to our Trafford meeting in September then you’ll need to be up to speed on where we’re up to with benefits, safeguarding and vulnerability. The discussion is part of a necessary move towards maintaining a rights based approach to benefits advice by increasingly bringing to bear legislation from outside the social security sphere. The finest examples of this would of course be the increasing use of EU legislation; directives and so on and, more recently, the use of the Equality Act 2010 to challenge DWP practice and policy.

Our first September speaker, Louise Tanner, has put together some background reading to give people a feel for the range of the topic. You can download and read this from our site but before you do we suggest you have a look at the discussion forums hosted by our mates over at Rightsnet.

We recommend a read of

If these don’t give you a feel for the breadth and reach of the subject, as well as the potential for challenging the DWP and local authorities then, er, you probably haven’t read them! See you in Trafford.

Advertisements

CPAG looking for case studies on Bedroom Tax and DHPs.

is urgently looking for case studies following the Court of Appeal’s decision in R(Rutherford) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 29, which is to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

They are keen to hear if any advisers have come across the following situations with regards to Bedroom Tax and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs):

  • Families with disabled children who have been affected by the Housing Benefit size criteria (or ‘the Bedroom Tax’) because they need an extra room for a carer or carers to stay overnight.
  • Instances where families have been refused DHPs because the local authority has exhausted its fund for these particular payments.

The families may be renting in the private or the social rented sector.

If you are an adviser who has seen people in either situation, please send a private message or email CPAG on testcases@cpag.org.uk before the 10th of February 2016.