URGENT: North West Mental Health WRAs Group meeting has been cancelled and re-arranged.

The meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group on the 27th March 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The speaker, Susan Perry, Team Leader at DWP Disability Services, has agreed to re-schedule for Friday the 29th of May 2020.

This meeting remains at 9.30am for 10am at Greater Manchester Law Centre as per our previous post.

A reminder and further confirmation nearer the time.

North West Thingummy You Know What Group Stuff.

Yeah, essentially there are only so many times in your life you can type North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group or NWMHWRAG and not lose the will to live.

In the background here GMWRAG has people whispering seductively in our ear(s) about adding an extra word/letter to the GMSC but taking 2 letters out in order to make it the NSCG. Now that people is how you do it. They’re probably right too but come on now let’s not forget these things are GMWRAG sub-groups so it should really be the GMWRAG NSCG and the GMWRAG NWMHWRAG. Don’t tempt us or we will insist 🙂

So, yeah, them and.. more stuff.

Firstly, here’s yer minutes. Then here’s, er, stuff.

As if this were not enough joy for one day we must also say that we have been advised that there was some confusion at the last meeting. With a group name like that how could there not be. Oh no, hang on. That wasn’t it.

“There was some confusion about Work Allowances at the meeting.  Speaker Julie Conneely has emailed to clarify:-

To be eligible for a work allowance the claimant (and/or partner) either have

  • Responsibility for a child
  • Limited capability for work

There are two levels

if UCFS includes housing support the work allowance is ÂŁ287

if UCFS does not include housing support) the work allowance is ÂŁ503“.

But we knew that didn’t we?!

We will of course be adding the “stuff” to “their” pages as soon as we’ve stopped chortling at our own wit. So, that’s never then?

Oh yeah, and this.

The next meeting of “them” will be on Friday (the – why do we keep having to add in “the” for them?)  27th (of – and “of”) March 2020.

The speaker will be Susan Perry, Team Leader at Disability Services at Chorlton. She will be talking about and taking questions on PIP.

The meeting will be at Greater Manchester Law Centre. More details to follow nearer the time. We think that’ll be the usual don’t wander through the wrong door at the fire station stuff. Nope? Wrong venue. Don’t wander down the middle of the law centre or you’ll be arrested? Something like that? No? Don’t read the letters or they’ll change to N or NWLC? Sigh. Time for a lie down.

Make Yer Mind Up.

Sigh. No sooner had we put up this post than we’ve been advised that NWMHWRAG do in fact now have a speaker. GMWRAG is not of course in a position to comment having failed conspicuously to pull off a January meeting.

Julie Conneely, Disability Employment Adviser at Openshaw JobcentrePlus will be coming to speak.

Ends (or something).

Well, that’s all we’ve got folks.

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group. We’re really sorry but we’re running out of original titles for these posts.

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group will take place on Friday the 7th of February 2020.

Please arrive at 9.30am for a prompt start at 10am.

They don’t have a confirmed speaker for this meeting, so it will be an Information Exchange.

Please note change of usual date and venue.

There will be no meeting on the 31st of January 2020. That meeting has moved to the 7th of February 2020.

The meeting will be at Greater Manchester Law Centre at the Jain Centre, 667-669 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester, M12 4QE.

Outmoded forms of transport: The centre is on the A6 between (little) Asda and Crowcroft Park. There is a car park at the centre.

Equally outmoded form of transport: You can get the train to Levenshulme. As you come out of the train station, turn left onto Albert Road, then turn left again at the T-junction with Stockport Road.

The Law Centre is a short walk north (i.e. towards the city centre) on your right shortly after you pass Asda.

Possibly franchised transport: Get on the 192 bus from Piccadilly Gardens. This is on the side of the Gardens as you’re walking towards the railway station. No need to worry about timetables. You’re more likely to be run over by one than miss one. The centre is on left as you head south out of town on the A6, between Crowcroft Park and (little) Asda.

The centre is the smaller of the two buildings. When you arrive you need to press a buzzer and wait for someone to let you in.

Volunteers are needed to chair the meeting and take minutes.

NWMHWRAG meeting on “settled status”.

“Settled status” being the least “settled” thing GMWRAG has come across in some time we’re pleased to see that it wasn’t just us who invited Europia to speak. Following on from that last NWMHWRAG meeting we’re pleased to have received a number of documents for circulation. These are as follows:

These can all be found more permanently in the presentations page of the NWMHWRAG section of our website.

Another really boring “The next meeting of x will take place at y” type posting.

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group will be at 9.30 for 10am on Friday the 29th November 2019 in the Community Room at Manchester Central Fire Station. Possibly not this one.

In a weirdly familiar twist for recent attendees of the Salford GMWRAG, the speaker will be GMWRAG member Norman Beverley. Nowadays Norman is Head of Advice Service at Europia and he’ll be coming along to give a comprehensive update on the European Settlement Scheme.

GMWRAG struggled at our recent Salford meeting as it didn’t take long for Norman of Europia to morph quietly in our heads to Lawrence of Euphoria by Skip Spence and now it’s stuck. We are now going to do similar damage to all of you. It’s not the most exciting video but it does have some of the greatest lyrics of all time (in our defence we did say “some”) and a mental health link too!

As it’s the last meeting before Christmas, the group will also be going “somewhere” nearby for lunch afterwards. We haven’t been given a postcode for “somewhere” but doing an internet search brought up some interesting results. We perhaps recommend turning “Safe Search” on in order to avoid arrest.

More details to follow nearer the time.

Future meeting dates for the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group.

The meeting dates for the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group for 2020 are:-

7th Feb 2020

27th March 2020

29th May 2020 

31st July 2020 

25th September 2020

 27th November 2020

Please note the change to the usual date in January – the room is not available in January 2020.

These dates will appear on the NWMHWRAG pages as soon as the opportunity arises.

All meetings are on Fridays at 9.30am for 10am for the morning only.

The minutes of the last NWMHWRAG meeting plus associated documents are now available for download.

Long post. Loadsa good stuff.

The minutes of the last meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group are now available for download from here and in due course (give us a minute) from their pages within the GMWRAG site.

GMWRAG was quite upset to discover that since the NWMHWRAG pages migrated to this site in 2011 not one person has noticed that the section was erroneously titled the North West Mental Health Advisers Welfare Rights Group and not the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group. WHO was not paying attention? All of you apparently!

The People’s Front of Judea are most upset. Eats, Shoots and Leaves indeed! Other documents from the meeting can be downloaded from below but also from the now correctly titled section. Anything else you’re not telling us?

GMWRAG sometimes gets asked how one joins such an exclusive club or “old boys clique” as we recently were amused to hear it described. We’re thinking of adopting the passing of a UC quiz as the entry requirement.

Suffice to say we’ll be asking the (mostly female) Principal Officers of Welfare Rights services across GM to withdraw from GMWRAG anyone heard spouting such inanities especially given that attendance at GMWRAG meeting is fairly evenly divided between the sexes but if anything skewed well away from “old boys”.

In the meantime, we have been handed some late-breaking corrections to some of the above and we detail these below, which goes to prove that there is occasionally some value in being tardy!

“On the minutes – slight correction needed to this bit

Note differences to shared accommodation rules for over 35s, under
occupancy (non dependant couples get two rooms, overnight carers not dependant on SDP)

It should say something like this –

Note differences to shared accommodation rules –

  • single over 35s – get one bedroom rate even if chosen to live in shared accommodation
  • single under 35s – exemption from shared accommodation rate not dependent on SDP (just on the disability benefit – ie PIP DL / DLA mid/high care etc)

under occupancy –

  • non dependant couples get two rooms,
  • overnight carers – stricter than HB – person needing care must be getting disability benefit –  PIP DL / DLA mid/high care etc)

Second thing –

When we were discussing the protection on death rules & no bedroom tax for 3 months,  it was asked if – when a non dependant dies – whether the non-dep deduction would still apply.

The speaker said they thought not – but since had a look to see if there are any Regs/guidance to confirm that!

Reg 37

Reg 37 image

 

 

 

 

This is what the guidance says – Guidance image 2

 

 

 

Guidance image 1

 

 

 

It does not make sense to say that a non-dep who has died should still be making their contribution to the tenant (that is the theory of non-dep deductions isn’t it? ie that the non-dep should pay something towards the cost of the roof over their head – unless exempt). There will be no non-dep income.

Also if the exemption was due to non-dep’s PIP daily living etc – that would have stopped.

So we think this is a mistake/omission.”