Details of the next NAWRA meeting.

The next NAWRA meeting takes place in Durham on Friday the 7th of December 2018
at the Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ (hosted by Durham County Council). The agenda and full details of speakers and workshops will be posted in due course but the minutes of the last meeting and the various presentations can already be downloaded here.

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A quick reminder about the next NAWRA meeting in Glasgow.

GMWRAG has mentioned this before but as we’re now much closer to September it’s timely to remind members that the next NAWRA meeting will take place from 10am-4pm (registration from 9.30am) on Friday the 7th of September 2018 at Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP (hosted by Glasgow City Council).

The guest speaker will be the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Also speaking is Dr Sharon Wright of Glasgow University, co-author of ‘A hand up or a slap down? Criminalising benefit claimants in Britain via strategies of surveillance, sanctions and deterrence’

Last but not least there is GMSCG leading light Jo Chimes, Project Lead/Legal Adviser at the Equality and Diversity Forum talking “In the small places close to home – making equality rights practical and relevant in welfare benefits advice”.

A. Deductions from universal credit – Daphne Hall (Rightsnet) with thanks to Will Hadwen

Workshop level: Intermediate/Practical

Many universal credit claimants struggle because of the high level of deductions. This workshop will look at:

  •  the current rules for the different deductions;
  •  maximum rates;
  •  how or if we can negotiate with the DWP to reduce them;
  •  and what to do when this isn’t successful.

We’ll also discuss Esther McVey’s commitment to look at this problem.

B. Practical equality rights in welfare benefits advice – Jo Chimes (Equality and Diversity Forum) Workshop level: Introductory/Practical

The Equality and Diversity Forum launched an online handbook, Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits Advice, in May 2018. This workshop will show how the handbook can help everyone working in welfare benefits advice to make practical use of the Equality Act 2010 to solve everyday discrimination problems and fill the ‘discrimination advice gap’.

C. Reg 35 limbo – Scott McInally and Kathryn Gaines (Durham County Council Welfare Rights Service)

Workshop level: Advanced/Practical

Are tribunals lowering the bar for work-related activities making it all but impossible to satisfy regulation 35? Durham Welfare Rights share their experience of Reg 35 appeals and invite you to share yours.

D. Pitfalls and processes with universal credit – Zoey Corker (Sanctuary Housing)

Workshop level: Introductory/Strategic

As it finally rolls out to most of Scotland, Zoey Corker provides us with an insight into processes and pitfalls for claiming universal credit, including Scottish protections.

The full agenda can be found here.

NAWRA coming to the North West of England.

It has been a couple of months since GMWRAG posted anything in respect of our friends at NAWRA. Details of future NAWRA meetings have caught our eye though because early in March 2019 NAWRA will be coming to your area (the North West of England) and to Salford in particular. We will be playing an active role in publicising said meeting but in the meantime details of the next two NAWRA meetings are below.

The next meeting will take place from 10am-4pm (registration from 9.30am) on Friday the 7th of September 2018 at Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP (hosted by Glasgow City Council).

Following that meeting the next two meetings will be

Durham on Friday the 7th of December 2018 which will be held at Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ (hosted by Durham County Council) and then Salford on Friday the 1st of March 2019.

Further details to follow as we have them.

Details of the next NAWRA meeting in Nottingham are now available.

NAWRA’s quarterly conferences are held around the UK and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities.

Here are details of the next NAWRA meeting:

Date: Friday the 1st of June 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm (registration from 9.30am)Nottingham Trent University
Location: Nottingham Law School, Chaucer Building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham NG1 5LP

The meeting is kindly hosted by Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre and Advice Nottingham. Our guest speakers will be Dr Tom Vickers of Nottingham Trent University, Tessa Gregory (Leigh Day Solicitors) and Elizabeth Davey (Equality and Human Rights Commission). There will be workshops on PIP case law, financial resilience and CPAG’s new Upper Tribunal Assistance Project.

Download the full agenda along with information about travel, accommodation and our social evening.

NAWRA meetings are free for members to attend. There is no need to book a place. Please let me know you have any access requirements.

NAWRA News

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.

Minutes of the Salford GMWRAG meeting.

The minutes of the recent GMWRAG meeting in Salford are now available for download. They will also be permanently available at our minutes of previous meetings page.

Please note that these minutes are very detailed as they contain comprehensive additional notes for each speaker as requested by a number of attendees and members who sent apologies. They’re not a quick read but they offer a detailed insight into the work of both speakers!

The minutes also contain a significant number of links to useful resources mentioned by both speakers on the day, which we agreed to include in the minutes. If you want to view those resources you will need to read the minutes on a screen and click the links first rather than just download and print, albeit that we’d ask you to print a copy off to take to our next meeting in April 2018!

The presentation from our first speaker will remain permanently available in our Presentations and Notes section. Salford’s “Tackling Poverty Strategy” remains available by clicking on the title in this sentence.

Our second speaker also brought a number of leaflets with him re: PLP work on sanctions and we agreed to distribute these with the minutes. You can download the PLP sanctions project leaflet from here.

GMWRAG members will be aware we streamed the second speaker via Persicope. That stream was eventually viewed by 128 people. These were largely GMWRAG or NAWRA members. The foregoing number does not count those very strange scantily clad people who urged “Boys, look at my profile pic! The more eagle-eyed members at the meeting may have noticed some frantic profile blocking going on during the broadcast! We’re fairly confident most GMWRAG members don’t usually dress like that!

The broadcast itself was available until midnight on the day of the meeting. Now it has been summarised within the minutes the broadcast has been deleted. We have been given permission to allow a short, non-controversial clip to be used for the site and you can see this below.

Again, the more eagle-eyed will note that in order to facilitate this GMWRAG now has a YouTube channel. You can find this by clicking the link in the previous sentence. If GMWRAG members have any good ideas for things we could live stream or record in future then we’ll be more than happy to listen. Feel free to contact GMWRAG via @GMWRAGTweets.

Next NAWRA meeting.

The first NAWRA meeting of 2018 takes place from 10:00am to 4:00pm with registration from 9:30am) on Friday the 9th of March 2018 at The Tab, The Square, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1TE.

The NAWRA web site provides a link for the above venue but it appears dead to us and a quick search didn’t reveal a web site so at present you’ll be navigating by post code. Agenda, minutes etc. will be on their meetings page as soon as they’re available.

NAWRA quarterly meetings are held around the country and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities. You must be a member to attend. Details of how to become a member are available on their web site.

In the meantime, there’s a GMWRAG meeting taking place…

 

Critical social policy work from NAWRA.

NAWRA has been liaising with a firm of solicitors talking about possible ways to take judicial review action on various aspects of Universal Credit. They are very interested in taking challenges on working disabled people and the self-employed – they are already taking a challenge on behalf of claimants losing the SDP.

They remain keen to hear about clients who have lost out moving to UC who are either –
• a working disabled person moving from WTC to UC and losing money due to loss of the disabled worker element;
• a self-employed person who is losing out because of irregular income and so gets less UC than an employed person earning a similar amount, or other self-employed people losing out under UC.

NAWRA are also widening their search for potential UC judicial review claimants to people in the following circumstances:

1. Claimants who are naturally migrating from ESA – failure to pay the LCW/LCWRA element straight away

2. The application of waiting days when they shouldn’t be applied as claimant was on legacy benefits before migrating

3. Submission of a DS1500 by a third party and a refusal to accept without explicit consent

If you have a client who is affected and would consider taking part in a legal challenge please email daphne@nawra.org.uk

 

 

 

Invitation to take part in research into bereavement and funeral poverty.

With thanks to our friends at NAWRA for passing this on.

You are invited to participate in a study relating to bereavement and funeral poverty. The aim of the research is to understand how the change to Bereavement Support Payment may affect claimants and to consider the adequacy of the support available overall to bereaved families. Your views would be valuable, whether or not you have much experience in this area or with the new benefit.

Participation involves an online questionnaire. It will take around 10 minutes. All questions will be completed anonymously; the researcher will not know who has completed the questionnaire. The researcher is Jennifer Cowen and she can be contacted at c032915c@student.staffs.ac.uk. If you have any further questions about anything to do with the questionnaire, or the research in general, please feel free to contact her.

If you would like to participate, click on the link below to the research questionnaire and further information on the study: Take the survey or the URL below into a browser: http://staffordshire.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4GccGX3KdhbwHJP