The committee directs the policy and general management of the affairs of NAWRA. It consists of representatives from each of the English regions plus two from Wales, one from Scotland, one from Northern Ireland and one nominated by CPAG. This gives a total of 14 representatives. The committee meet at least three times a year, either a day before a main NAWRA meeting or by telephone conference call.
The representatives of the English regions and Wales must be elected every two years at our AGM. Our meeting in Stockton-on-Tees on 9 March 2018 acts as our AGM this year.
The regions are as follows:
- South East England
- North West England
- East of England
- West Midlands
- South West England
- Yorkshire and the Humber
- East Midlands
- North East England
- North Wales
- South Wales
If you work in one of these regions and would like to stand for election to the committee then please complete the nomination form and return it by Friday 16 February 2018.
Do get in touch with Kelly Smith (NAWRA Secretary) with any questions.
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 October 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 December 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.
In Nov 2017, NAWRA wrote to David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to highlight three major problems within universal credit. These are not policy issues but operational issues where the legislative processes within universal credit are not being correctly followed and are causing extreme hardship.
- claimants naturally migrating from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- waiting days incorrectly applied
- failure to allow a third party to submit a DS1500 (confirmation of terminal illness
Read our letter
Update 30 Nov 2017: We received a reply from Neil Couling, Director General of the UC programme. Read the reply.
Update 15 Dec 2017: Neil Couling did not give a satisfactory response to our letter so we wrote again to press him on these particular issues in UC. Read the reply.
Excellent article in ‘The Guardian’ on 2nd January 2018, highlighting injustice in the social security system, delays and obstructions in the appeals system and the impact on individuals.
As welfare rights advisers, these are all issues we are all too familiar with and the article will hopefully highlight these to a wider audience. NAWRA also gets a mention, in the context of ‘advice deserts’ and the need for comprehensive welfare rights advice for communities.
You can read the article online.
NAWRA met in Coventry on 1 Dec 2017. The minutes of the meeting along with slides and notes from the speakers and workshop facilitators are now available in the members area.