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The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Amendments relating to forfeiture of benefitsN.I.

77.—(1) The following paragraphs shall be inserted after paragraph (1) of Article 6 of the [1982 NI 14] Forfeiture (Northern Ireland) Order 1982 (Social Security Commissioner to determine whether forfeiture rule applies to social security benefits)—

(1A) Where a Commissioner determines that the forfeiture rule has precluded a person (in this Article referred to as “the offender”) who has unlawfully killed another from receiving the whole or part of such benefit or advantage, the Commissioner may make a decision under this paragraph modifying the effect of that rule and may do so whether the unlawful killing occurred before or after the coming into operation of this paragraph.

(1B) The Commissioner shall not make a decision under paragraph (1A) modifying the effect of the forfeiture rule in any case unless he is satisfied that, having regard to the conduct of the offender and of the deceased and to such other circumstances as appear to the Commissioner to be material, the justice of the case requires the effect of the rule to be so modified in that case.

(1C) Subject to paragraph (1D), a decision under paragraph (1A) may modify the effect of the forfeiture rule in either or both of the following ways—

(a)so that it applies only in respect of a specified proportion of the benefit or advantage;

(b)so that it applies in respect of the benefit or advantage only for specified period of time.

(1D) Such a decision may not modify the effect of the forfeiture rule so as to allow any person to receive the whole or any part of a benefit or advantage in respect of any period before the commencement of this paragraph.

(1E) If the Commissioner thinks it expedient to do so, he may direct that his decision shall apply to any future claim for a benefit or advantage under a relevant enactment, on which a question such as is mentioned in paragraph (1) arises by reason of the same unlawful killing.

(1F) It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (1E) whether the claim is in respect of the same or different benefit or advantage.

(1G) For the purpose of obtaining a decision whether the forfeiture rule should be modified the Department of Health and Social Services may refer to a Commissioner for review any determination of a question such as is mentioned in paragraph (1) that was made before the commencement of paragraphs (1A) to (1F) (whether by a Commissioner or not) and shall do so if the offender requests that Department to refer such a determination.

(1H) Paragraphs (1A) and (1F) shall have effect on a reference under paragraph (1G) as if in paragraph (1A) the words “ it has been determined ” were substituted for the words “a Commissioner determines”. .

(2) In paragraph (2) of that Article, after the words “that paragraph” there shall be inserted the words “ or any decision under paragraph (1A) ”.

(3) In Article 7 (exclusion of murderers) after “Article 5(1)” insert “ or on any decision made under Article 6(1A) ”.

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