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Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

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

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

8.—(1) This section applies to—

[F1(za)universal credit;]

(a)income support;

(b)jobseeker's allowance; and

[F2(bb)state pension credit;]

[F3(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 [F4section 5B or 6] in the case of a member of that person's family; [F5and]

(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.

[F6(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.

[F7(d)any amount of the allowance payable in prescribed circumstances were recoverable by the Department.]

[F2(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.]

[F8(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.

[F9(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 [F10any 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 [F11any 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).]

F3S. 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

F8S. 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

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