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This conference organized by Paul Treloar on December 2nd, 2015 will address the impact of welfare reforms on legal aid and advice services in Bristol. Topics include welfare benefits, local authority cuts, and challenges in service delivery. The conference aims to provide insights, strategies, and opportunities for collaboration to navigate the changing landscape.

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  2. Introduction • Life after legal aid with welfare reforms • Advice service models of delivery • Where now for specialist support? • Challenges • Responses • Questions?

  3. LASPO 2013 • When legal aid for welfare benefits was in scope, matter starts were as follows: • 2010-11 - 121,128 • 2011-12 - 110,745 • 2012-13 - 88,378 • LASPO Bill defeated numerous times in Lords but eventually passed and implemented from April 2013

  4. Life post-LASPO • 436 Welfare Benefits Matter Starts during 2014 • 2 Judicial Review applications granted • 1 Exceptional Case Funding (for ADR v SSWP CIS/1288/2012 (Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber))) • So legal aid scheme for welfare benefits has become marginal to point of extinction

  5. Local authority cuts • Unison estimates that local authorities have seen cuts of £11.3bn by 2015/16 • Additionally, extra responsibilities have been placed upon them, especially in relation to council tax reduction schemes, local welfare assistance schemes, and discretionary housing payments • Many LA WRU’s closed, and frontline service losing funding partially or completely

  6. Welfare reforms driving demand • Legacy benefits – JSA/ESA/IS/HB/CTC/WTC • Universal credit – roll-out??? • DLA  PIP • Localism • Welfare Reform and Work Bill • Tax Credits??!!

  7. Reduced benefit cap impacts

  8. Perfect storm

  9. Advice service models • Face-to-face – open door or appointment only • Systems thinking – does it work? • Role of: • Outreach • Telephone • Email • Online • May provide some help but F-2-F still crucial

  10. Challenges • Complexity – how to understand the system? • Confusion – what rules and entitlements apply? • Discretion and localism • Debt and destitution – rise in foodbanks • Cuts of funding

  11. How to respond? • Online – opportunities against risks • Supporting frontline advisers and others • Partnerships – existing and new • New approaches to £££’s • Sharing information • Local liaison with DWP, JCP, LA, HMRC etc • Keep on keeping on

  12. Questions? • Over to you

  13. CPAG TRAINING CPAG’s experience in the welfare rights field is unrivalled and this is reflected in the quality of our training. Our courses cover all aspects of welfare benefits, tax credits and the welfare rights system. We run a variety of courses throughout the year at venues across the UK, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle. Please keep an eye on our website as new training dates and locations are added throughout the year. www.cpag.org.uk/training

  14. CPAG PUBLICATIONS • We publish a wide range of expert titles to help you keep up-to-date with the ever-changing world of social security and benefits. • Must-have new titles and editions this year include: • Our fully revised and updated Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook • Anew edition of our now-annual Benefits for Migrants Handbook • A new edition in our popular and accessible ‘essentials’ series: Universal Credit: What you need to know • We also sell a selection of books published by other organisations, which we feel are • particularly useful to our members and customers. • Visit our bookshop: www.cpag.org.uk/bookshop • Please feel free to email us with any enquiries: • bookorders@cpag.org.uk

  15. CPAG ADVICE LINE CPAG advice line for advisers Tel:020 7812 5231 Monday to Friday 10am – 12pm 2pm - 4pm For more information on our advice service please visit www.cpag.org.uk/advisers

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