CPAG Welfare Rights Conference 2014 - North (4th September) & South (11th September)
This year's conference takes place in two locations and the theme is 'Social insecurity: debt and destitution'
Disputing benefit decisions: ‘mandatory reconsideration’
David Simmons, Welfare Rights Worker CPAG
The requirement to apply for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before acquiring the right of appeal against benefit decisions was introduced in October 2013 for most DWP benefits, and April 2014 for tax credits and child benefit.
This workshop examines the impact of the requirement on claimants and advisers by considering:
• the scope and operation of the rules;
• the effect on delays in the dispute procedure and the number of appeals;
• procedural problems relating to applications, time limits, and decisions;
• issues arising when disputing employment and support allowance decisions.
There will be an opportunity to discuss problems and tactical issues which commonly arise when assisting claimants through the process of mandatory reconsideration.
Daniel Norris, Welfare Rights Worker CPAG
Mike Spencer, Solicitor CPAG
The Government’s localism agenda has seen responsibility for increasing areas of welfare provision passed to local authorities in the form of local policies and discretionary schemes. This workshop will look at the law governing such schemes and explore trends in policies adopted by councils in England and Wales.
Topics under discussion will include:
• local welfare assistance schemes, which have replaced crisis loans and community care grants;
• local council tax reduction schemes, which have replaced council tax benefit;
• discretionary housing payments.
The workshop will also cover methods of challenging unlawful decisions and schemes and a brief discussion around future policy and funding issues.
Personal independence payment
Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker CPAG
This workshop will look at the early outcomes from the introduction of personal independence payment and the start of the replacement of some current claims for disability living allowance (DLA).
Topics covered will include:
• the claims and assessment process, including delays;
• the effectiveness of measures introduced to shorten delays;
• the latest on the plans for replacement of current DLA claims;
• early signs from decision-making;
• prospects for caselaw.
Attendees are encouraged to share their own experience of these and related topics, and there will be ample opportunity for discussion.
Martin Williams, Welfare Rights WorkerCPAG
This workshop will look at tactics and arguments for challenging decisions to sanction claimants for:
• failure to participate in the work programme (ESA and JSA claimants);
• failure to actively seek work or be available for work (JSA claimants)
The workshop will also consider practical solutions that assist claimants to cope whilst sanctions are being applied – such as obtaining hardship payments.
The past presence, the future: changes to residence and presence tests (London only)
Essie Rashidschi, Welfare Rights Worker
There have been changes to the residence and presence tests for a number of benefits over the last few years. Many of these affect all claimants, whatever their nationality, and mean that they may have to wait longer before they can claim some benefits on entering or returning to the UK. Changes to the UK regulations also affect how long European nationals may be able to claim some benefits. In many cases this means that relying on European Union (EU) law has become more important:
This workshop will examine:
• changes to jobseeker’s allowance entitlement;
• change to the past presence tests for disability and carers’ benefits;
• changes to the rules governing right to reside;
• using EU law to meet the new tests.
09.15 - 10.00 Arrival, registration, coffee and exhibition stand viewing
10:00 – 11.15 Host welcome and keynote speakers (tbc)
11.15 – 11.30 Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands
11.30 – 12.45 Workshops – morning session
12.45 – 13.30 Lunch and viewing of exhibition stands
13.30 – 14.45 Workshops – afternoon session
14.45 – 15.00 Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands
15.00-16.00 Panel discussion and Q&A
Our venue in the North of England is the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT
Our NEW venue in the South of England is Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2HS
We will have an exhibition space in Manchester hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting at our Manchester Conference please email Sebastien Clark at email@example.com
Booking a place and further information
Delegate places are £125 for a voluntary organisation and £170 for statutory and lawyers.
The Early Bird booking price is £110 for a voluntary organisation and £145 for statutory and lawyers – valid before 1st July 2014.
To book delegate place(s) please complete our online booking form or print off our Conference Programme and complete the attached booking form.
Please note that workshops will be selected at the time of booking and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For all Conference related queries and enquiries please contact Naomi Jessop at '+'//firstname.lastname@example.org' + ''; // --> %20"> '+'email@example.com' + ''; // --> or 020 78125228.