Search Legislation

Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Loss of benefit for commission of benefit offences

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

6.—(1) If—

(a)a person (“the offender”) is convicted of one or more benefit offences in each of two separate sets of proceedings,

(b)the benefit offence, or one of the benefit offences, of which he is convicted in the later proceedings is one committed within the period of three years after the date, or any of the dates, on which he was convicted of a benefit offence in the earlier proceedings,

(c)the later 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 his family,

(d)the earlier set of proceedings has not been taken into account as the earlier set of proceedings 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 his 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.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the sanctionable benefit shall not be payable in the offender’s case for any period comprised in the disqualification period.

(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.

(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, in relation to the conviction of a person of one or more benefit offences in each of two separate sets of proceedings, means the period of thirteen weeks beginning with and including such date, falling after the date of the conviction in the later set of proceedings, as may be determined by or in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

(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.

(8) In this section—

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

(a)

any benefit under the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (NI 15) (in this Act referred to as “the Jobseekers Order”) or the Jobseekers Act 1995 (c. 18);

(b)

any benefit under the Contributions and Benefits Act or the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4) other than—

(i)

maternity allowance;

(ii)

working families' tax credit;

(iii)

disabled person’s tax credit; and

(iv)

statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay;

(c)

any war pension;

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

(a)

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

(b)

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 VIII of the Contributions and Benefits Act;

(viii)

a payment under Part X of that Act (Christmas bonus for pensioners).

(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

(b)references to a conviction include references to a conviction in relation to which the court makes an order for conditional discharge and to a conviction in Great Britain (including a conviction in relation to which a court in Scotland makes a probation order).

(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.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources