Social welfare during coronavirus

The Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (amends the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber and the Social Entitlement Chamber Tribunal Procedure Rules to permit decisions without a hearing and private hearings, and requiring (in most cases) recording of remote hearings)

Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND), Care Standards (CS) and Primary Health Lists (PHL): Help for Users, 15 April 2020

Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Mental Health: Help for Users, 15 April 2020

Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Social Security and Child Support, Criminal Injuries Compensation, Asylum Support, 15 April 2020

Chamber President’s Guidance Note No.3. (SSCS), 31 March 2020

Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Mental Health jurisdiction, 19 March 2020

Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Special Education Needs and Disability, Care Standards and Primary Health Lists jurisdictions: launch of the first paperless, digital tribunal jurisdictions, 19 March 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health), 19 March 2020

Rightsnet’s response to coronavirus includes:

  • opening up access to their coronavirus-related news stories in order that they can now be accessed by everyone, regardless of whether they have a rightsnet subscription;
  • launching a new online casework support forum to help advisers respond to enquiries and to share their experience and expertise;
  • creating a new social welfare law update page as another way to help us all keep up to date with the latest announcements, new regulations and government guidance;
  • llaunching their first ever non-work focused forum The Social that we hope might play a part in helping us all to steer a course through the next few weeks and months by providing more of a social space to catch up with like-minded members of the rightsnet/access to justice community; and
  • adding citizen-focused coronavirus-related resources to our advicelocal site at:

Organizations providing free legal support and advice

  1. AdviceLocal
  2. AdviceUK (find an AdviceUK member includes CAB, law centres)
  3. Citizens Advice Bureaux – different CAB offer different services but may be able to help with issues such as benefits, consumer rights, debt
  4. Law Centres (search by map or A-Z list)
  5. LawWorks (find a legal advice clinic)

Welfare benefits/social security

  1. Child Poverty Action Group (London)
  2. Greater Manchester Law Centre
  3. Free Representation Unit (FRU) (London, through referral agencies)

Debt/money advice:

  1. Manchester CAB
  2. Money Advice Service (government service)
  3. Money A+E
  4. Money Advice Plus
  5. Money Advice Trust
  6. Step Change


Schools Exclusion Project

Mental health


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