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Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

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Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001, Cross Heading: Loss of benefit provisions is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 22 October 2017. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Loss of benefit provisionsN.I.

[F1Meaning of “disqualifying benefit” and “sanctionable benefit” for purposes of sections 5B and 6N.I.

5A  In this section and sections 5B and 6—

disqualifying benefit” means (subject to any regulations under section 9(1))—

(zb)

[F2state pension or a lump sum under Part 1 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 or under Part 1 of the Pensions Act 2014;]

(za)

[F3any benefit under Part 2 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 or Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (universal credit);]

(a)

any benefit under the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (in this Act referred to as “the Jobseekers Order”) or the Jobseekers Act 1995;

(b)

any benefit under the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002 or the State Pension Credit Act 2002;

(c)

any benefit under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 or Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (employment and support allowance);

(ca)

[F4any benefit under Part 5 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 or Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (personal independence payment);]

(cb)

[F5bereavement support payment under section 29 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 or under section 30 of the Pensions Act 2014;]

(d)

any benefit under the Contributions and Benefits Act or the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 other than—

(i)

maternity allowance

(ii)

statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay;

(e)

any war pension;

sanctionable benefit” means (subject to any regulations under section 9(1))—

(za)

[F6any benefit under Part 2 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (universal credit);]

(a)

any benefit under the Jobseekers Order other than joint-claim jobseeker's allowance;

(b)

any benefit under the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002;

(c)

any benefit under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007; F7...

(ca)

[F8bereavement support payment under section 29 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015; or]

(d)

any benefit under the Contributions and Benefits Act which is a disqualifying benefit other than—

(i)

any retirement pension;

(ii)

graduated retirement benefit;

(iii)

disability living allowance;

(iv)

attendance allowance;

(v)

child benefit;

(vi)

guardian's allowance;

(vii)

a payment out of the social fund in accordance with Part 8 of the Contributions and Benefits Act;

(viii)

a payment under Part 10 of that Act (Christmas bonuses).

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F2Words in s. 5A inserted (6.4.2016 unless brought into operation earlier by an order under s. 53(1) of the amending Act) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c. 5), s. 53(3), Sch. 12 para. 36

Loss of benefit in case of conviction, penalty or caution for benefit offenceN.I.

5B(1) Subsection (4) applies where a person (“the offender”)—

(a)is convicted of one or more benefit offences in any proceedings,

(b)after being given a notice under subsection (2) of the appropriate penalty provision by an appropriate authority, agrees in the manner specified by the appropriate authority to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision to the appropriate authority F9..., in a case where [F10the offence to which the notice relates] is a benefit offence, or

(c)is cautioned in respect of one or more benefit offences.

(2) In subsection (1)(b)—

(a)the appropriate penalty provision” means section 109A of the Administration Act (penalty as alternative to prosecution) or section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (the corresponding provision for Great Britain);

(b)appropriate authority” means—

(i)in relation to section 109A of the Administration Act, the Department (within the meaning of that Act) or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, an

(ii)in relation to section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, the Secretary of State or an authority which administers housing benefit or council tax benefit.

(3) Subsection (4) does not apply by virtue of subsection (1)(a) if, because the proceedings in which the offender was convicted constitute the [F11current] set of proceedings for the purposes of section 6, the restriction in subsection (2) of that section applies in the offender's case.

(4) If this subsection applies and the offender is a person with respect to whom the conditions for an entitlement to a sanctionable benefit are or become satisfied at any time within the disqualification period, then, even though those conditions are satisfied, the following restrictions shall apply in relation to the payment of that benefit in the offender's case.

(5) Subject to subsections [F12(5A)] to (10), the sanctionable benefit shall not be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period.

[F13(5A) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is universal credit, the benefit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the amount payable were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed;

(d)any amount of the benefit payable in prescribed circumstances were recoverable by the Department.]

(6) Where the sanctionable benefit is income support, the benefit shall be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period as if the applicable amount used for the determination under section 123(4) of the Contributions and Benefits Act of the amount of the offender's entitlement for that period were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.

(7) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is jobseeker's allowance, any income-based jobseeker's allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.

(8) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is state pension credit, the benefit shall be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period as if the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.

(9) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is employment and support allowance, any income-related allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.

(10) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is housing benefit, the benefit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.

(11) For the purposes of this section the disqualification period, in relation to any disqualifying event, means [F14the relevant period] beginning with such date, falling after the date of the disqualifying event, as may be determined by or in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

[F15(11A) For the purposes of subsection (11) the relevant period is—

(a)in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) where the benefit offence, or one of them, is a relevant offence, the period of three years,

(b)in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) (but not within paragraph (a) above), the period of 13 weeks, or

(c)in a case falling within subsection (1)(b) or (c), the period of four weeks.]

(12) This section has effect subject to section 5C.

(13) In this section and section 5C—

benefit offence” means—

(a)

any post-commencement offence in connection with a claim for a disqualifying benefit;

(b)

any post-commencement offence in connection with the receipt or payment of any amount by way of such a benefit;

(c)

any post-commencement offence committed for the purpose of facilitating the commission (whether or not by the same person) of a benefit offence;

(d)

any post-commencement offence consisting in an attempt or conspiracy to commit a benefit offence;

disqualifying event” means the conviction falling within subsection (1)(a), the agreement falling within subsection (1)(b) or the caution falling within subsection (1)(c);

post-commencement offence” means any criminal offence committed after the coming into operation of this section.

[F16(14) In this section and section 6 “relevant offence” means—

(a)the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud, or

(b)a prescribed offence which, in the offender's case, is committed in such circumstances as may be prescribed, and which, on conviction—

(i)is found by the court to relate to an overpayment (as defined in section 109A(8) of the Administration Act) of at least £50,000,

(ii)is punished by a custodial sentence of at least one year (including a suspended sentence as defined in section 33(1) of the Treatment of Offenders Act (Northern Ireland) 1968), or

(iii)is found by the court to have been committed over a period of at least two years.]

[F17(15) The Department may by order amend subsection (11A)(a), (b) or (c), or (14)(b)(i), (ii) or (iii) to substitute a different period or amount for that for the time being specified there.]

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F11Words in s. 5B(3) substituted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(2); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F14Words in s. 5B(11) substituted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(3); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F15S. 5B(11A) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(4); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F16S. 5B(14) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(5); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F17S. 5B(15) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(6); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

Section 5B: supplementary provisionsN.I.

5C(1) Where—

(a)the conviction of any person of any offence is taken into account for the purposes of the application of section 5B in relation to that person, and

(b)that conviction is subsequently quashed,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under section 5B that could not have been imposed if the conviction had not taken place

(2) Where, after the agreement of any person (“P”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of the application of section 5B in relation to that person—

(a)P's agreement to pay the penalty is withdrawn under subsection (5) of the appropriate penalty provision, or

(b)it is decided on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998 that [F18any overpayment made] to which the agreement relates is not recoverable or due,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under section 5B that could not have been imposed if P had not agreed to pay the penalty.

(3) Where, after the agreement (“the old agreement”) of any person (“P”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of the application of section 5B in relation to P, the amount of [F19any overpayment made] to which the penalty relates is revised on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998—

(a)section 5B shall cease to apply by virtue of the old agreement, and

(b)subsection (4) shall apply.

(4) Where this subsection applies—

(a)if there is a new disqualifying event consisting of—

(i)P's agreement to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision in relation to the revised overpayment, or

(ii)P being cautioned in relation to the offence to which the old agreement relates,

the disqualification period relating to the new disqualifying event shall be reduced by the number of days in so much of the disqualification period relating to the old agreement as had expired when section 5B ceased to apply by virtue of the old agreement, and

(b)in any other case, all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under section 5B that could not have been imposed if P had not agreed to pay the penalty.

(5) For the purposes of section 5B—

(a)the date of a person's conviction in any proceedings of a benefit offence shall be taken to be the date on which the person was found guilty of that offence in those proceedings (whenever the person was sentenced); and

(b)references to a conviction include references to a conviction in relation to which the court makes an order for absolute or conditional discharge and to a conviction in Great Britain (including a conviction in relation to which a court in Scotland makes a probation order or an order for absolute discharge without proceeding to a conviction).

(6) In this section “the appropriate penalty provision” has the meaning given by section 5B(2)(a).]

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Loss of benefit for [F20repeated benefit fraud] N.I.

6.—(1) If—

[F21(a)a person (“the offender”) is convicted of one or more benefit offences in a set of proceedings (“the current set of proceedings”),

(b)within the period of five years ending on the date on which the benefit offence was, or any of them were, committed, one or more disqualifying events occurred in relation to the offender (the event, or the most recent of them, being referred to in this section as “the earlier disqualifying event”),

(c)the current set of proceedings has not been taken into account for the purposes of any previous application of this section or section 7 or 8 in relation to the offender or any person who was then a member of the offender's family,

(d)the earlier disqualifying event has not been taken into account as an earlier disqualifying event for the purposes of any previous application of this section or either of those sections in relation to the offender or any person who was then a member of the offender's family, and

(e)the offender is a person with respect to whom the conditions for an entitlement to a sanctionable benefit are or become satisfied at any time within the disqualification period,]

then, even though those conditions are satisfied, the following restrictions shall apply in relation to the payment of that benefit in the offender's case.

[F22(1A) The following restrictions do not apply if the benefit offence referred to in subsection (1)(a), or any of them, is a relevant offence.]

(2) Subject to subsections [F23(2A)] to (5), the sanctionable benefit shall not be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period.

[F24(2A) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is universal credit, the benefit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the amount payable were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed;

(d)any amount of the benefit payable in prescribed circumstances were recoverable by the Department.]

(3) Where the sanctionable benefit is income support, the benefit shall be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period as if the applicable amount used for the determination under section 123(4) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (c. 7) (in this Act referred to as “the Contributions and Benefits Act”) of the amount of the offender's entitlement for that period were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.

(4) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is jobseeker's allowance, any income-based jobseeker's allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.

[F25(4A) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is state pension credit, the benefit shall be payable in the offender's case for any period comprised in the disqualification period as if the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.]

[F26(4B) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is employment and support allowance, any income-related allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.]

(5) The Department may by regulations provide that, where the sanctionable benefit is housing benefit, that benefit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the disqualification period, as if one or both of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.

(6) For the purposes of this section the disqualification period, [F27in an offender's case, means the relevant period beginning with a prescribed date falling after the date of the conviction in the current set of proceedings] .

[F28(6A) For the purposes of subsection (6) the relevant period is—

(a)in a case where, within the period of five years ending on the date on which the earlier disqualifying event occurred, a previous disqualifying event occurred in relation to the offender, the period of three years;

(b)in any other case, 26 weeks.]

(7) Where—

(a)the conviction of any person of any offence is taken into account for the purposes of the application of this section in relation to that person, and

(b)that conviction is subsequently quashed,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed if the conviction had not taken place.

[F29(7A) Subsection (7B) applies where, after the agreement of any person (“P”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of the application of this section in relation to that person—

(a)P's agreement to pay the penalty is withdrawn under subsection (5) of the appropriate penalty provision,

(b)it is decided on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998 that any overpayment to which the agreement relates is not recoverable or due, or

(c)the amount of any overpayment to which the penalty relates is revised on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998 and there is no new agreement by P to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision in relation to the revised overpayment.

(7B) In those circumstances, all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed if P had not agreed to pay the penalty.]

(8) In this section—

  • [F30appropriate penalty provision” has the meaning given in section 5B(2)(a);]

  • “benefit offence” means—

    (a)

    any post-commencement offence in connection with a claim for a disqualifying benefit;

    (b)

    any post-commencement offence in connection with the receipt or payment of any amount by way of such a benefit;

    (c)

    any post-commencement offence committed for the purpose of facilitating the commission (whether or not by the same person) of a benefit offence;

    (d)

    any post-commencement offence consisting in an attempt or conspiracy to commit a benefit offence;

  • [F30disqualifying event” has the meaning given in section 5B(13).]

  • [F31post-commencement offence” means an offence committed on or after 1 April 2002 (the day on which this section came into operation).]

  • F32. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • F33. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F34(8A) Where a person is convicted of more than one benefit offence in the same set of proceedings, there is to be only one disqualifying event in respect of that set of proceedings for the purposes of this section and—

(a)subsection (1)(b) is satisfied if any of the convictions take place in the five year periods mentioned there;

(b)the event is taken into account for the purposes of subsection (1)(d) if any of the convictions have been taken into account as mentioned there;

(c)in the case of the earlier disqualifying event mentioned in subsection (6A)(a), the reference there to the date on which the earlier disqualifying event occurred is a reference to the date on which any of the convictions take place;

(d)in the case of the previous disqualifying event mentioned in subsection (6A)(a), that provision is satisfied if any of the convictions take place in the five year period mentioned there.]

(9) For the purposes of this section—

(a)the date of a person's conviction in any proceedings of a benefit offence shall be taken to be the date on which he was found guilty of that offence in those proceedings (whenever he was sentenced); and

[F35(b)references to a conviction include references to a conviction in relation to which the court makes an order for absolute or conditional discharge and to a conviction in Great Britain (including a conviction in relation to which a court in Scotland makes a probation order or an order for absolute discharge without proceeding to a conviction).]

(10) In this section references to any previous application of this section or section 7 or 8—

(a)include references to any previous application of section 7, 8 or 9 of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (c. 11); but

(b)do not include references to any previous application of this section, or of section 7 or 8, the effect of which was to impose a restriction for a period comprised in the same disqualification period.

[F36(11) The Department may by order amend subsection (6A) to substitute different periods for those for the time being specified there.

(12) An order under subsection (11) may provide for different periods to apply according to the type of earlier disqualifying event or events occurring in any case.]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F20Words in s. 6 substituted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(4); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F21S. 6(1)(a)-(e) substituted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(5); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F22S. 6(1A) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(7); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F26S. 6(4B) inserted (1.7.2008 for certain purposes otherwise 27.10.2008) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (c. 2), ss. 28, 60, Sch. 3 para. 14(2); S.R. 2008/276, art. 2(2)(c), Sch. Pt. 1

F27Words in s. 6(6) substituted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(6); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F28S. 6(6A) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(7); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F29S. 6(7A)(7B) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(8); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F30Words in s. 6(8) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(9); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F31S. 6(8): definition of "post-commencement offence" inserted (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 1(2)(a)

F32S. 6(8): definition of "disqualifying benefit" repealed (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 1(2)(b) (the said repeal is also cited in the repeals Schedule of the amending act in Sch. 4 Pt. 3)

F33S. 6(8): definition of "sanctionable benefit" repealed (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 1(2)(b) (the said repeal is also cited in the repeals Schedule of the amending act in Sch. 4 Pt. 3)

F34S. 6(8A) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(10); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F36S. 6(11)(12) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(11); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Effect of offence on joint-claim jobseeker's allowanceN.I.

7.—(1) Subsections (2) and (3) shall have effect, subject to the other provisions of this section, where—

(a)the conditions for the entitlement of any joint-claim couple to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance are or become satisfied at any time; and

(b)[F37an offence-related restriction] would apply in the case of at least one of the members of the couple if the entitlement were an entitlement of that member to a sanctionable benefit.

[F38(1A) In this section—

(a)an offence-related restriction” means the restriction in subsection (5) of section 5B or the restriction in subsection (2) of section 6, and

(b)in relation to an offence-related restriction, any reference to the relevant period is a reference to a period which is the disqualification period for the purposes of section 5B or 6, as the case requires.]

(2) [F39Except in prescribed circumstances] the allowance shall not be payable in the couple's case for so much of any period comprised in [F40the relevant period] as is a period for which—

(a)in the case of each of the members of the couple, [F41an offence-related restriction] would apply if the entitlement were an entitlement of that member to a sanctionable benefit; or

(b)[F42an offence-related restriction] would so apply in the case of one of the members of the couple and the other member of the couple—

[F43(i)is a person whose failure sanctionable under Article 21, 21A or 21B of the Jobseekers Order has given rise to a reduction under that Article; or]

(ii)F44. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3) For any part of any period comprised in [F45the relevant period] for which subsection (2) does not apply, the allowance—

(a)shall be payable in the couple's case as if the amount of the allowance were reduced to an amount calculated using the method prescribed for the purposes of this subsection; but

(b)shall be payable only to the member of the couple who is not the person by reference to whose [F46conduct section 5B or 6] would apply.

(4) The Department may by regulations provide in relation to cases to which subsection (2) would otherwise apply that joint-claim jobseeker's allowance shall be payable in a couple's case, during the whole or a part of so much of any period comprised in [F47the relevant period] as falls within paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by each of the members of the couple with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.

(5) Paragraph (6) of Article 22A of the Jobseekers Order (calculation of reduced amount) shall apply for the purposes of subsection (3) as it applies for the purposes of paragraph (5) of that Article.

(6) Where—

(a)the conviction of any member of a couple for any offence is taken into account for the purposes of the application of this section in relation to that couple, and

(b)that conviction is subsequently quashed,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed had the conviction not taken place.

[F48(7) Where, after the agreement of any member of a couple (“M”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of any restriction imposed by virtue of any regulations under this section—

(a)M's agreement to pay the penalty is withdrawn under subsection (5) of the appropriate penalty provision, o

(b)it is decided on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998 that [F49any overpayment made] to which the agreement relates is not recoverable or due,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed had M not agreed to pay the penalty.

(8) Where, after the agreement (“the old agreement”) of any member of a couple (“M”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of any restriction imposed by virtue of any regulations under this section, the amount of [F50any overpayment made] to which the penalty relates is revised on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998—

(a)if there is a new disqualifying event for the purposes of section 5B consisting of M's agreement to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision in relation to the revised overpayment or M being cautioned in relation to the offence to which the old agreement relates, the new disqualification period for the purposes of section 5B falls to be determined in accordance with section 5C(4)(a), and

(b)in any other case, all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed had M not agreed to pay the penalty.

(9) In this section “the appropriate penalty provision” has the meaning given by section 5B(2)(a).]

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Effect of offence on benefits for members of offender's familyN.I.

8.—(1) This section applies to—

[F51(za)universal credit;]

(a)income support;

(b)jobseeker's allowance; and

[F52(bb)state pension credit;]

[F53(bc)employment and support allowance;]

(c)housing benefit.

(2) The Department may by regulations make provision in accordance with the following provisions of this section in relation to any case in which—

(a)the conditions for entitlement to any benefit to which this section applies are or become satisfied in the case of any person ( “the offender's family member”);

(b)that benefit falls to be paid in that person's case for the whole or any part of a period comprised in a period ( “the relevant period”) which is the disqualification period in relation to restrictions imposed under [F54section 5B or 6] in the case of a member of that person's family; [F55and]

(c)that member of that family ( “the offender”) is a person by reference to whom—

(i)the conditions for the entitlement of the offender's family member to the benefit in question are satisfied; or

(ii)the amount of benefit payable in the case of the offender's family member would fall (apart from any provision made under this section) to be determined.

[F56(2A) In relation to cases in which the benefit is universal credit, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, any universal credit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the relevant period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the amount payable were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if there is compliance by the offender or the offender's family member, or both of them, with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed;

(d)any amount of the benefit payable in prescribed circumstances were recoverable by the Department.]

(3) In relation to cases in which the benefit is income support, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, the benefit shall be payable for the whole or any part of any period comprised in the relevant period as if the applicable amount used for the determination under section 123(4) of the Contributions and Benefits Act of the amount of the offender's entitlement for that period were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.

(4) In relation to cases in which the benefit is jobseeker's allowance, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, any income-based jobseeker's allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the relevant period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender or the offender's family member, or both of them, with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if the circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.

[F57(d)any amount of the allowance payable in prescribed circumstances were recoverable by the Department.]

[F52(4A) In relation to cases in which the benefit is state pension credit, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, the benefit shall be payable for the whole or any part of any period comprised in the relevant period as if the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed.]

[F58(4B) In relation to cases in which the benefit is employment and support allowance, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, any income-related allowance shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the relevant period, as if one or more of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the allowance were such reduced rate as may be prescribed;

(b)the allowance were payable only if there is compliance by the offender or the offender's family member, or both of them, with such obligations with respect to the provision of information as may be imposed by the regulations;

(c)the allowance were payable only if circumstances are otherwise such as may be prescribed.]

(5) In relation to cases in which the benefit is housing benefit, the provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2) is provision that, in the case of the offender's family member, the benefit shall be payable, during the whole or a part of any period comprised in the relevant period, as if one or both of the following applied—

(a)the rate of the benefit were reduced in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b)the benefit were payable only if the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.

(6) Where—

(a)the conviction of any member of a person's family for any offence is taken into account for the purposes of any restriction imposed by virtue of any regulations under this section, and

(b)that conviction is subsequently quashed,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made in that person's case as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed that could not have been imposed had the conviction not taken place.

[F59(7) Where, after the agreement of any member of a person's family (“M”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of any restriction imposed by virtue of any regulations under this section—

(a)M's agreement to pay the penalty is withdrawn under subsection (5) of the appropriate penalty provision, or

(b)it is decided on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998 that [F60any overpayment made] to which the agreement relates is not recoverable or due,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed that could not have been imposed had M not agreed to pay the penalty

(8) Where, after the agreement (“the old agreement”) of any member of a person's family (“M”) to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into account for the purposes of any restriction imposed by virtue of any regulations under this section, the amount of [F61any overpayment made] to which the penalty relates is revised on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 or the Social Security Act 1998—

(a)if there is a new disqualifying event for the purposes of section 5B consisting of M's agreement to pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision in relation to the revised overpayment or M being cautioned in relation to the offence to which the old agreement relates, the new disqualification period for the purposes of section 5B falls to be determined in accordance with section 5C(4)(a), and

(b)in any other case, all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under this section that could not have been imposed had M not agreed to pay the penalty.

(9) In this section “the appropriate penalty provision” has the meaning given by section 5B(2)(a).]

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F53S. 8(1)(bc) inserted (1.7.2008 for certain purposes otherwise 27.10.2008) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (c. 2), ss. 28, 60, Sch. 3 para. 14(4); S.R. 2008/276, art. 2(2)(c), Sch. Pt. 1

F58S. 8(4B) inserted (1.7.2008 for certain purposes otherwise 27.10.2008) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (c. 2), ss. 28, 60, Sch. 3 para. 14(5); S.R. 2008/276, art. 2(2)(c), Sch. Pt. 1

Power to supplement and mitigate loss of benefit provisionsN.I.

9.—(1) The Department may by regulations provide for any social security benefit to be treated for the purposes of [F62sections 5A to 8]

(a)as a disqualifying benefit but not a sanctionable benefit; or

(b)as neither a sanctionable benefit nor a disqualifying benefit.

(2) The Department may by regulations provide for any restriction in section [F635B,] 6, 7 or 8 not to apply in relation to payments of benefit to the extent of any deduction that (if any payment were made) would fall, in pursuance of provision made by or under any statutory provision, to be made from the payments and paid to a person other than the offender or, as the case may be, a member of his family.

(3) In this section “social security benefit” means—

(a)any benefit under the Contributions and Benefits Act or the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4);

(b)any benefit under the Jobseekers Order or the Jobseekers Act 1995 (c. 18); or

[F64(bb)any benefit under the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002 or the State Pension Credit Act 2002;]

[F65(bc)any benefit under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (employment and support allowance) or under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;]

[F66(bd)any benefit under Part 2 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (universal credit);]

[F67(be)any benefit under Part 5 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 or Part 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (personal independence payment);]

[F68(bf)state pension or a lump sum under Part 1 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 or under Part 1 of the Pensions Act 2014;]

[F69(bg)bereavement support payment under section 29 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 or under section 30 of the Pensions Act 2014;]

(c)any war pension.

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F68S. 9(3)(bf) inserted (6.4.2016 unless brought into operation earlier by an order under s. 53(1) of the amending Act) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c. 5), s. 53(3), Sch. 12 para. 37

Loss of benefit [F70orders and] regulationsN.I.

10.—(1) In [F71sections 5B to 9] “prescribed” means prescribed by or determined in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

(2) Regulations under any of the provisions of [F72sections 5B to 9] shall (except in the case of regulations to which subsection (3) applies) be subject to negative resolution.

(3) Regulations containing (whether alone or with other provisions)—

(a)a provision by virtue of which anything is to be treated for the purposes of section [F735B or] 6 as a disqualifying benefit but not a sanctionable benefit,

(b)a provision prescribing the manner in which the applicable amount is to be reduced for the purposes of section [F745B(6),] 6(3) or 8(3),

(c)a provision the making of which is authorised by section [F75[F765B(5A), (7)] , (8), (9) or (10),] [F776(2A), (4)] [F78, (4A)][F79, (4B)] or (5), 7(4) or [F808(2A), (4)] [F78, (4A)][F79, (4B)] or (5), or

(d)a provision prescribing the manner in which the amount of joint-claim jobseeker's allowance is to be reduced for the purposes of section 7(3)(a), [F81or

(e)a provision prescribing an offence under section 5B(14)(b),]

shall be laid before the Assembly after being made and shall take effect on such date as may be specified in the regulations, but shall (without prejudice to the validity of anything done thereunder or to the making of new regulations) cease to have effect upon the expiration of a period of six months from that date unless at some time before the expiration of that period the regulations have been approved by a resolution of the Assembly.

[F82(3A) An order under section 5B(15) [F83or 6(11)] shall be subject to the confirmatory procedure.

(3B) In this section “the confirmatory procedure” means the procedure described in subsection (3).]

(4) Article 74(3) to (6) of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (NI 10) (regulations and orders) shall apply in relation to a power to make [F84an order or] regulations that is conferred by any of the provisions of [F85sections 5B to 9] as it applies in relation to the powers to make [F84an order or] regulations that are conferred by that Order.

(5) The provision that may be made in exercise of the powers to make regulations that are conferred by [F86sections 5B to 9] shall include different provision for different areas.

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F70Words in s. 10 inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(8)(a); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F81S. 10(3)(e) and preceding word inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(8)(b); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F82S. 10(3A)(3B) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(8)(c); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F83Words in s. 10(3A) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 118(12); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

F84Words in s. 10(4) inserted (2.5.2016 for specified purposes, 9.9.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006), arts. 2(2), 117(8)(d); S.R. 2016/215, art. 2(6)(d); S.R. 2016/325, art. 2(3)

Consequential amendmentsN.I.

11.—(1) F87. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2) In paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (NI 10) (decisions against which an appeal lies), after sub-paragraph (e) there shall be added ; or

(f)section 6, 7 or 8 of the Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001. .

(3) In section 149(5) of the Administration Act (functions of Social Security Advisory Committee in relation to legislation and regulations), in the definition of “the relevant enactments”, after paragraph (af) there shall be inserted—

(ag)sections 6 to 10 of the Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001; .

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Interpretation of [F88sections 5A to 11]N.I.

12.  In this section and [F89sections 5A to 11]

  • “benefit” includes any allowance, payment, credit or loan;

  • [F90cautioned”, in relation to any person and any offence, means cautioned after the person concerned has admitted the offence;]

  • F91. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • “family” has the same meaning as in Part VII of the Contributions and Benefits Act;

  • “income-based jobseeker's allowance”, “joint-claim jobseeker's allowance” and “joint-claim couple” have the same meanings as in the Jobseekers Order;

  • [F92income-related allowance” has the same meaning as in Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (employment and support allowance);]

  • F93. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • “sanctionable benefit” has the meaning given by [F94section 5A];

  • [F95“state pension credit” means state pension credit under the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002;]

  • “war pension” has the same meaning as in section 25 of the Social Security Act 1989 (c. 24) (establishment and functions of war pensions committees).

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F90S. 12: definition of "cautioned" inserted (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 6(3)

F91S. 12: definition of "disqualification period" repealed (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 6(4) (the said repeal is also cited in the repeals Schedule of the amending act in Sch. 4 Pt. 3)

F92S. 12: definition of "income-related allowance" inserted (1.7.2008 for certain purposes otherwise 27.10.2008) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (c. 2), ss. 28, 60, Sch. 3 para. 14(8); S.R. 2008/276, art. 2(2)(c), Sch. Pt. 1

F93S. 12: definition of "post-commencement offence" repealed (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 6(4) (the said repeal is also cited in the repeals Schedule of the amending act in Sch. 4 Pt. 3)

F94S. 12: words in definition of "sanctionable benefit" substituted (13.8.2010) by Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 (c. 13), ss. 19(2)(a), 36(1)(e), Sch. 3 para. 6(5)

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