Mike Shermer

NAWRA would like to pay tribute to Mike Shermer, former committee member for the East of England region, who passed away peacefully on 17 May 2018, aged 74 years.

Mike was one of the original members of the NAWRA committee and demonstrated a commitment to the organisation throughout his time with us.  Mike was a dedicated welfare rights adviser with Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council and had also served as a Town Councillor for March in the Isle of Ely area of Cambridgeshire.  Following his retirement, Mike still kept in touch with welfare rights matters and he is sadly missed by all of us at NAWRA.

NAWRA would like to pass on condolences to Mike’s wife, Jeanette, and to all the Shermer family.

Mike Shermer
Mike Shermer

NAWRA conference in Nottingham 1 June 2018

Our quarterly meetings 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 1 June 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm (registration from 9.30am)
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 caselaw, finanical resiliance 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.  If your organisation is not already a NAWRA member then join here.

Please get in touch with any questions.


NAWRA comments on the DWP’s evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on 21 May 2018

NAWRA was invited to give evidence to the Public Accounts Committee concerning the DWP’s errors in migrating claimants over from incapacity benefit to ESA. This was due to our involvement in writing to the Secretary of State and our response to the consultation – thank you again to all members who contributed by answering our survey.

Following the evidence session NAWRA was invited to comment on the DWP’s evidence.  We have submitted this response.

Thanks to Daphne Hall for all her work on this on behalf of NAWRA.


Letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about income related ESA

NAWRA members have identified many former Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants who have been migrated to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and only been awarded contributory ESA.  This is because the Department for Work and Pensions have failed to apply the regulations and their own guidance and undertake a financial assessment to check entitlement to any top up of Income Related ESA.

In July 2017, we wrote to the secretary of state for work and pensions, David Gauke MP to raise our concerns.

Update 10 Oct 2017: We have received a letter from David Gauke, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.  He confirms that officials are currently investigating this matter and will be in contact once they have completed this work.

Update 14 Dec 2017: David Gauke made a written statement  acknowledging the government’s error.

Update 9 Jan 2018: Esther McVey has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in a cabinet reshuffle. We have written to her to follow up this matter.

Update 23 Jan 2018: We have received a reply from Esther McVey.

Update 9 Feb 2018:  NAWRA has replied to point out that section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 does not apply in this situation.

Update 15 May 2018:  NAWRA has received a letter from Esther McVey about the DWP limited backdating after the error in migrating people from incapacity benefit to ESA. They are now quoting the decision in CSE/33/2017 – which is available from the rightsnet discussion forum which agreed with applying s27 of the Social Security Act 1998 (the test case rule) (which NAWRA disputes).

Leave to appeal in this decision is being applied for and hopefully the judicial review launched by CPAG will clarify the situation.