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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007

Section 18: Disqualification

Section 18 provides that in certain circumstances, similar to those in section 167E of the Contributions and Benefits Act, a person can be disqualified from receiving an employment and support allowance for a period of up to six weeks. This may be because a person is limited in his capability for work because of his own misconduct, because he remains a person who has limited capability for work through failure, without good cause, to follow medical advice, or because he fails, without good cause, to observe specified rules of behaviour. Regulations will specify the circumstances and the matters which are to be taken into account when making such a decision, including the considerations to be taken into account in deciding whether or not the person concerned had good cause for the failure.

Subsection (4) provides that unless regulations specify otherwise, a person shall be disqualified for receiving contributory employment and support allowance for any period where he is undergoing imprisonment or detention in legal custody, or is absent from Northern Ireland. This is similar to section 113(1) of the Contributions and Benefits Act which currently applies to incapacity benefit and will allow such a person to continue to be entitled to employment and support allowance whilst disqualified from payment. This is because once the period of disqualification has ended it is intended that awards will be resumed where it is appropriate to do so without the need to re-claim.

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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.

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