‘Attendance Allowance: The Case Law’ training in Manchester, Wolverhampton and London

NAWRA is holding a free to NAWRA members, one-day ‘Attendance Allowance: The Case Law’ training course which is designed to examine the case law which has developed surrounding the disability-related qualifying conditions for this benefit.

Dates and locations
The event will be held at the following venues in England in an attempt to give our members the best opportunity of attending.

  • Manchester: Thursday 20th July 2023 at Garden Court North Chambers, 3rd Floor Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester M3 2JA.
  • Wolverhampton: Monday 14th August 2023 at University of Wolverhampton, Millennium City Building, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY.
  • London: Tuesday 22nd August 2023 at The Gallery, The Woolwich Centre, 2nd Floor, 35 Wellington Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6HQ

Each course will start at 9.30 am and finish at 4.00 pm. There will be 1 hour for lunch and, as you would expect, a mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments break.

About the training course
The course will be delivered by Mark Perlic from the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Welfare Rights Service. Mark has developed the course to increase awareness of Attendance Allowance entitlement as part of a take-up campaign surrounding this benefit and Pension Credit in Wolverhampton. It is Mark’s view that some of the detail of the case law surrounding Attendance Allowance has been lost over time by advisers, decision-makers and tribunals. This is in part due to the introduction of Personal Independence Payment and in consequence the demise in the number of Disability Living Allowance appeals which has aspects of entitlement that mirror those of Attendance Allowance. It is Mark’s belief that the legal principles of many of the key case law decisions surrounding Attendance Allowance have been lost in time or in some situations become misconstrued. It is hoped that this course will help revive the case law emphasis surrounding Attendance Allowance entitlement and thereby re-establish what should be the correct legal approach to claims and entitlements.

Who should attend
All NAWRA members are welcome to attend. The course is suited to both new and seasoned advisers. New advisers will benefit by exploring the case law view on how some of the more ambiguous aspects of the statutory language relating to Attendance Allowance should be interpreted. Seasoned advisers may, at the very least, benefit from reaffirming their understanding of the correct legal line that should be adopted in the assessment of a person’s qualifying care needs.

How to book
If you would like to book a place on one of the courses, then please email wrs@wolverhampton.gov.uk confirming the following:

  • your name
  • the name of the organisation you represent
  • your email address
  • your contact telephone number
  • the date of the event which you would like to attend

In doing so, should you be seeking to book a place for a colleague(s) then can you please supply, in addition to the above information, their name and email address. We ask this so that arrangements can be made to email a copy of the training materials to you / your colleague(s) which will support the event. No hard copies of the materials will be made available.

The training courses are free for NAWRA members to attend. Not a NAWRA member?  Find out more about joining.

Do you have any accessibility needs? If so, please email wrs@wolverhampton.gov.uk so that arrangements can be made at the venue.

Any questions?
If you have any questions about the course please email wrs@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Many thanks to Mark Perlic for writing and teaching the course and offering it to NAWRA members at no charge.

Notes from NAWRA conference in Nottingham on 8 June 2023

NAWRA members met in Nottingham last week. Thanks very much to Faye at the University of Law and Juan at Derbyshire Council for hosting us.

Slides and notes from the conference are available in the members area of the NAWRA website.

All members are welcome to attend our conferences for free. Our next conference will take place on Zoom across two half-days in September 2023.  More details soon

Would you like to host a conference, give a presentation or facilitate a workshop at a future conference? Please get in touch

NAWRA conference in Nottingham on 8 June 2023

NAWRA members will meet in-person on Thursday 8 June 2023 at The University of Law, Nottingham Campus, Royal Standard Place, Nottingham, NG1 6FS.

As always, there will be a mix of guest speakers, participatory workshops and a chance to meet fellow advisers.

NAWRA conferences are open to members only. Not a member? Find out more about joining.

There’s no need to book a place.

Read the agenda


Failure by DWP to initiate WCA and issue UC50 – an update

As NAWRA members are aware, we have been working hard with other organisations to try and resolve the issue of UC50s not being reliably issued following the submission of fitnotes leading to claimants not being put through the WCA and therefore being left for months, or sometimes years, without the LCWRA element being added to their claim. Following our letter to the Minister last year, we had a meeting with officials in January 2023. At this we were told that –

  • DWP are in the process of developing a digital UC50 – they believe this will solve the problem but we have sought clarification of the point at which it becomes digital – it needs to be triggered by the fitnote being submitted in order to ensure the WCA is started
  • DWP do not currently do any data analysis to assess the scale of the problem themselves – however, they agreed that one of their user researchers would speak to advisers to find out more – some of you have been involved in this – thank you
  • A digital solution is still some way away – we therefore asked for a manual solution in the meantime where work coaches put a standard message in a claimant’s journal at the point the first fitnote is issued (this should be a trigger point for reviewing the claim anyway) – this could explain the WCA process and that the claimant should receive a UC50 after 4 weeks at the latest and advise to let their work coach know if the form did not arrive. While not infallible, this would put claimants in a better position than currently.

Separately to our negotiations with the DWP, NAWRA gave both written and oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into health assessments for benefits. The Committee’s report was published on 14 April 2023 and, as a result of our evidence, it put forward a specific recommendation (paragraph 51) –

‘The process of issuing a UC50 form should be automatic, and claimants should not have to remind the Department to send it to them. DWP should investigate the process for issuing UC50 forms urgently and confirm in its response to this Report what steps it is taking to fix any points of failure identified to improve the process while the Work Capability Assessment and UC50 forms remain in use.

Since then we have had a follow up meeting with officials (on 18 April 2023) and there have been some developments –

  • They have undertaken research with five advisers recruited through NAWRA, and two or their clients
  • They acknowledge that there are problems reporting deteriorating conditions and that it is not clear how to report changes of circumstances effectively and they are looking at ways to improve this
  • They are looking to tighten up the day 1 referral process – this should be initiated if the fit note lasts more than 29 days apparently!

However, they did not yet seem to have addressed the issue of the UC50 just not being issued either when a first fit note is submitted or one highlighting a worsening condition. Nor had they addressed our request that standard wording be put in the journal setting out the WCA process as soon as a fit note is submitted on a manual basis pending a digital solution.

A follow up meeting to look at progress is due to happen in three months.

Thanks to Daphne Hall for all her work on this.