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The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Introductory

Title, citation and commencement

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1988.

(2) Articles 3 to 12 (including Schedules 1 to 3), and this Article, Article 2 and Articles 15 to 17 (including Schedules 4 and 5) so far as they have effect for the purposes of Articles 3 to 12, may be cited together with the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Acts 1975 to 1986 and the Social Fund (Maternity and Funeral Expenses) (Northern Ireland) Order 1987(1) as the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Acts 1975 to 1988.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), this Order shall come into operation on such day or days as the Head of the Department may by order appoint.

(4) The following provisions of this Order shall come into operation on 1st April 1988—

  • this Article and Article 2;

  • Article 3;

  • Article 4(2);

  • Article 9;

  • Article 11;

  • Article 15;

  • Article 16(1), so far as it relates to sections 17, 44 to 47, 59A and 66 of the principal Act and Articles 30 and 34 of the 1986 Order and to the insertion of paragraph (7A) in Article 54 of that Order;

  • Article 16(2), so far as it relates to—

    (a)

    sections 45, 45A, 46, 47B and 66 of the principal Act;

    (b)

    Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1980(2); and

    (c)

    Article 15(4)(a) of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1985(3);

  • Article 17.

Interpretation

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(4) shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In this Order—

the Department” means the Department of Health and Social Services;

“the 1986 Order” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(5);

“the Pensions Order” means the Social Security Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1975(6);

“the principal Act” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Act 1975(7);

“statutory provision” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(8).

Attendance allowance

Attendance allowance

3.—(1) In section 35(1) of the principal Act, for paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(b)he is so severely disabled physically or mentally that, at night,—

(i)he requires from another person prolonged or repeated attention in connection with his bodily functions, or

(ii)in order to avoid substantial danger to himself or others he requires another person to be awake for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals for the purpose of watching over him..

(2) Section 35 of the principal Act shall have effect as amended by paragraph (1) only for the purposes—

(a)of any determination by the Attendance Allowance Board or a delegate appointed under paragraph 5 of Schedule 11 to that Act following a claim made after the commencement of this Article;

(b)of any review by the Board or by such a delegate following an application made after the commencement of this Article;

(c)of any review by the Board or by such a delegate under section 106(1)(a) or (bb) of the principal Act following a decision to conduct such a review made after the commencement of this Article;

(d)of any issue, revocation or alteration of a certificate relating to attendance allowance which takes place following a determination, review or appeal such as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

Industrial injuries

Introduction of retirement allowance and other provisions relating to industrial injuries benefit

4.—(1) After section 59A of the principal Act there shall be inserted the following section—

Retirement allowance.

59B.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a person who—

(a)has attained pensionable age; and

(b)retires, or is deemed under section 27(5) above to have retired, from regular employment on or after the date on which this section comes into operation; and

(c)was entitled to reduced earnings allowance (by virtue either of one award or of a number of awards) on the day immediately before he retired or is deemed to have retired,

shall cease to be entitled to reduced earnings allowance as from the day on which he retires or is deemed to have retired and may be entitled to it again only if he makes an election in accordance with regulations under section 30(3) above.

(2) If the day before a person ceases under subsection (1) above to be entitled to reduced earnings allowance he is entitled to the allowance (by virtue either of one award or of a number of awards) at a weekly rate or aggregate weekly rate of not less than £2.00, he shall be entitled to a benefit, to be known as “retirement allowance”.

(3) Unless he makes an election in accordance with regulations under section 30(3) above, retirement allowance shall be payable to him (subject to any enactment contained in Chapter VI of this Part of this Act and to any regulations made under any such enactment) for life.

(4) If he makes such an election, his entitlement to retirement allowance shall cease on the day on which the election takes effect.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) below, the weekly rate of a beneficiary’s retirement allowance shall be—

(a)25 per cent. of the weekly rate of reduced earnings allowance to which he was entitled the day before he ceased to be entitled to that allowance; or

(b)10 per cent. of the maximum rate of a disablement pension,

whichever is the less.

(6) If the weekly rate of the beneficiary’s retirement allowance—

(a)would not be a whole number of pence; and

(b)would exceed the whole number of pence next below it by ½p. or more,

the beneficiary shall be entitled to retirement allowance at a rate equal to the next higher whole number of pence..

(2) Section 59A(8) of the principal Act shall be modified in the case of a person who retired from regular employment before 6th April 1987 by the substitution for “140 per cent.” of “100 per cent.”.

(3) A person who—

(a)on 10th April 1988; or

(b)on the day before paragraph (1) comes into operation,

satisfies the conditions—

(i)that he has attained pensionable age;

(ii)that he has retired from regular employment; and

(iii)that he is entitled to reduced earnings allowance,

shall be entitled to that allowance for life.

(4) In the case of any beneficiary who is entitled to reduced earnings allowance by virtue of paragraph (3), the allowance shall be payable, subject to any enactment contained in Chapter VI of Part II of the principal Act and to any regulations made under any such enactment, at the weekly rate at which it was payable to the beneficiary on the relevant date or would have been payable to him on that date but for any such enactment or regulations.

(5) For a beneficiary who is entitled to reduced earnings allowance by virtue of paragraph (3)(a) the relevant date is 10th April 1988.

(6) For a beneficiary who is entitled to it by virtue of paragraph (3)(b) the relevant date is the day before paragraph (1) came into operation.

(7) After paragraph (1) comes into operation no person over pensionable age and retired from regular employment shall be entitled to reduced earnings allowance otherwise than under paragraph (3).

(8) References in paragraphs (2), (3) and (7) to a person who has retired from regular employment include references—

(a)to a person who under subsection (3) of section 27 of the principal Act is treated for the purposes of that Act as having retired from regular employment; and

(b)to a person who under subsection (5) of that section is deemed for those purposes to have retired from it.

(9) Schedule 1 shall have effect in relation to industrial death benefit.

Family credit

Commencement of payment of family credit

5.  In Article 21 of the 1986 Order—

(a)after paragraph (5) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(5A) In paragraph (5) “the applicable amount” means the applicable amount at such date as may be prescribed.; and

(b)in paragraph (6) the words “, beginning with the week in which a claim for it is made or is treated as made” shall cease to have effect.

Young persons

Income support and child benefit

6.—(1) In Article 21 of the 1986 Order, in paragraph (3)(a) (by virtue of which a person in Northern Ireland is entitled to income support if he is of or over the age of 16) for “16” there shall be substituted “18 or, in prescribed circumstances and for a prescribed period, of or over the age of 16 or he is a person to whom paragraph (4A) applies”.

(2) After paragraph (4) of that Article there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

(4A) If it appears to the Department—

(a)that a person of or over the age of 16 but under the age of 18 is not entitled to income support; and

(b)that severe hardship will result to that person unless income support is paid to him,

the Department may direct that this paragraph shall apply to him.

(4B) Any such direction may specify a period for which paragraph (4A) is to apply to the person to whom the direction relates.

(4C) The person to whom such a direction relates shall be treated in accordance with it, but if at any time it appears to the Department that there has been a change of circumstances as a result of which failure to receive income support need no longer result in severe hardship to him, the Department may revoke the direction.

(4D) The Department may also revoke the direction if—

(a)it is satisfied that the direction was given in ignorance of some material fact or was based on a mistake as to some material fact; and

(b)it considers that but for its ignorance or mistake it would not have determined that failure to receive income support would result in severe hardship.

(4E) Where—

(a)a direction under paragraph (4A) is revoked; and

(b)it is determined by an adjudication officer that, whether fraudulently or otherwise, any person has misrepresented, or failed to disclose, any material fact and in consequence of the misrepresentation or failure a payment of income support has been made during the relevant period to the person to whom the direction related,

an adjudication officer may determine that the Department shall be entitled to recover the amount of the payment.

(4F) Article 54(2) and (5) to (9) apply to income support recoverable under paragraph (4E) as they apply to income support recoverable under Article 54(1).

(4G) The other provisions of Article 54 do not apply to income support recoverable under paragraph (4E).

(4H) In paragraph (4E) “the relevant period” means—

(a)if the revocation is under paragraph (4C), the period beginning with the date of the change of circumstances and ending with the date of the revocation; and

(b)if the revocation is under paragraph (4D), the period during which the direction was in force.

(4J) Where a direction under paragraph (4A) is revoked, the Department may certify whether there has been misrepresentation of a material fact or failure to disclose a material fact.

(4K) If the Department certifies that there has been such misrepresentation or failure to disclose, it may also certify—

(a)who made the misrepresentation or failed to make the disclosure; and

(b)whether or not a payment of income support has been made in consequence of the misrepresentation or failure.

(4L) If the Department certifies that a payment has been made, it may certify the period during which income support would not have been paid but for the misrepresentation or failure to disclose.

(4M) A certificate under this Article shall be conclusive for the purposes of this Article as to any matter certified.

(4N) In paragraphs (3)(a) and (4B) “period” includes—

(a)a period of a determinate length;

(b)a period defined by reference to the happening of a future event; and

(c)a period of a determinate length but subject to earlier determination upon the happening of a future event..

(3) In Article 4(1) of the Child Benefit (Northern Ireland) Order 1975(9), after sub-paragraph (a) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(aa)he is under the age of eighteen and not receiving full-time education and prescribed conditions are satisfied in relation to him; or.

(4) In Article 6(1) of that Order, after “4(1)(b)” there shall be inserted the words “or by virtue of Article 4(1)(aa) and regulations made under that sub-paragraph”.

Short-term benefits

Contribution conditions for short-term benefits

7.—(1) Schedule 3 to the principal Act shall be amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1—

(a)in sub-paragraph (2)(a), for the words “in respect of any one year have actually paid contributions of a relevant class,” there shall be substituted the words

have actually paid contributions of a relevant class—

(i)in the case of unemployment benefit, in respect of one of the last two complete years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year; and

(ii)in the case of sickness benefit, in respect of any one year,; and

(b)in sub-paragraph (3)—

(i)in head (a), for the words “relevant past year” there shall be substituted the words “last two complete years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year”; and

(ii)in head (b), for the words “than that” there shall be substituted the words “in each of those years than the”.

(3) In paragraph 8(3), the words from “paragraph (b)”, in the first place where those words occur, to “of”, in the fourth place where it occurs, shall cease to have effect.

(4) Paragraph 9 shall cease to have effect.

Unemployment benefit and occupational pension

8.  In Article 5(1) of the Social Security (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1980(10) (which provides for the reduction of unemployment benefit for a person who has attained the age of 60 if payments by way of occupational pension exceeding a prescribed sum are made to him for any week), for “60” there shall be substituted “55”.

Emergency payments

Emergency payments by Health and Social Services Boards, etc.

9.—(1) The Department may make arrangements—

(a)with a Board; or

(b)with any other body,

for the making on behalf of the Department by members of the staff of any Board or body of payments on account of benefits to which Article 52 of the 1986 Order applies in circumstances corresponding to those in which the Department itself has the power to make such payments under Article 52(1)(s) of that Order; and a Board shall have power to enter into any such arrangements.

(2) A payment under any such arrangements shall be treated for the purposes of any statutory provision as if it had been made by the Department.

(3) The Department shall repay a Board or other body such amount as the Department determines to be the reasonable administrative expenses incurred by the Board or body in making payments in accordance with arrangements under this Article.

(4) In this Article “Board” means a Health and Social Services Board established under Article 16 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(11).

Earnings factors, etc.

Earnings factors and transfer values

10.  Part I of Schedule 2 shall have effect in relation to the calculation of earnings factors and of guaranteed minimum pensions partly attributable to earnings factors for the period before the tax year 1988—89 and Part II shall have effect in relation to transfer values.

Increase and reduction of benefit by reference to earnings

11.—(1) Increases and reductions of benefit under the principal Act which in pursuance of any provision to which this Article applies fall to be calculated by reference to a person’s earnings shall be calculated by reference to earnings from employment or to earnings from payments by way of occupational pension or to earnings of both descriptions, if the person is entitled to them.

(2) This Article applies to sections 41, 44 to 47, 64 and 66 of the principal Act.

The social fund

Amendments relating to the social fund

12.  Schedule 3 (which contains amendments relating to the social fund) shall have effect.

Welfare foods

Schemes for distribution, etc., of welfare foods

13.—(1) In this Article “welfare food” means liquid cows' milk, dried milks, vitamin tablets and vitamin drops.

(2) The Department may by order add any food to or remove any food from the foods referred to in paragraph (1).

(3) The Department may by regulations make a scheme, or a number of schemes—

(a)for the provision of welfare food; and

(b)for the making of payments to such persons as may be determined by or under the scheme who are entitled to receive a welfare food but who—

(i)do not receive it;

(ii)do not receive the amount to which they are so entitled.

(4) Any such regulations—

(a)may provide for the distribution or disposal, by or on behalf of the Department, of any welfare food, and the use or consumption of any such food;

(b)may control any prices to be charged for any welfare food provided under the scheme;

(c)may provide for an amount to be reimbursed by the Department to a supplier of any welfare food under the scheme;

(d)may provide for requiring such information or evidence as may be reasonably needed in connection with the administration of the scheme to be furnished by such persons as may be specified to an officer of the Department duly authorised in that behalf, on production by the officer (if required to do so) of his authority; and

(e)may direct that specified provisions relating to the administration of benefit under the principal Act (including provisions relating to offences and criminal proceedings) shall have effect for the purpose of the administration of the scheme, subject to any modifications specified in the regulations,

and in sub-paragraph (e) “modifications” includes additions, omissions and amendments.

(5) The power conferred by paragraph (4) to make regulations requiring a person to produce information or evidence shall include power to make regulations providing that—

(a)if documents specified by an officer are produced—

(i)he may take copies of them or extracts from them; and

(ii)he may require that person, or, where that person is a body corporate, any other person who is a present or past officer of, or is employed by, the body corporate, to provide an explanation of any of them; and

(b)if documents so specified are not produced, he may require the person who was required to produce them to state, to the best of his knowledge and belief, where they are.

(6) Section 155(1) to (3A) of the principal Act (extent of powers) shall apply to powers conferred by this Article to make regulations or orders as they apply to any power to make regulations or orders conferred by that Act but as if for the references to that Act there were substituted references to this Article.

(7) Section 156(1) of the principal Act (confirmatory procedure) shall apply to orders under this Article and regulations under this Article shall be subject to negative resolution.

(8) The Welfare Foods Act (Northern Ireland) 1968(12) shall cease to have effect.

Health service

Payment of travelling expenses, etc., and remission of charges

14.—(1) In Article 45 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(13) (travelling expenses of patients, etc.)—

(a)in paragraph (a) (person availing himself of prescribed services), after the words “any person” there shall be inserted the words “of a prescribed description”; and

(b)in paragraph (c) (visiting relative), after the words “any relative” there shall be inserted the words “being a person of a prescribed description,”; and

(c)at the end of paragraph (c) there shall be added the following paragraph—

(2) Paragraph 1B of Schedule 15 (powers to prescribe descriptions of persons) shall have effect in relation to paragraph (1) as it has effect in relation to paragraph 1(b) of that Schedule..

(2) In Schedule 15 to the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(14) (charges in respect of certain services, and other related matters)—

(a)in paragraph 1(b) (remission or repayment of charges) for the words from “any such prescribed charge” to “classes of persons” there shall be substituted the words “such charges in respect of persons of such descriptions”;

(b)after paragraph 1A there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

1B.(1) Descriptions of persons may be prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 1(b) by reference to any criterion and, without prejudice to the generality of this sub-paragraph, by reference to any of the following criteria—

(a)their age;

(b)the fact that a prescribed person or a prescribed body accepts them as suffering from a prescribed medical condition;

(c)the fact that a prescribed person or a prescribed body accepts that a prescribed medical condition from which they suffer arose in prescribed circumstances;

(d)their receipt of benefit in money or in kind under any transferred provision or their entitlement to receive any such benefit;

(e)the receipt of any such benefit by other persons satisfying prescribed conditions or the entitlement of other persons satisfying prescribed conditions to receive such benefits; and

(f)the relationship, as calculated in accordance with the regulations by a prescribed person, between their resources and their requirements.

(2) Regulations under this paragraph may direct how a person’s resources and requirements are to be calculated and, without prejudice to the generality of this sub-paragraph, may direct that they shall be calculated—

(a)by a method set out in the regulations; or

(b)by a method described by reference to a method of calculating or estimating income or capital specified in a transferred provision other than this paragraph or by reference to such a method but subject to prescribed modifications; or

(c)by reference to an amount applicable for the purposes of a payment under a transferred provision; or

(d)by reference to the person’s being or having been entitled to payment under a transferred provision.

(3) Regulations under this paragraph which refer to a transferred provision may direct that the reference is to be construed as a reference to that provision—

(a)as it has effect at the time when the regulations are made; or

(b)both as it has effect at that time and as amended subsequently..

General and supplementary

Financial provision

15.  There shall be paid out of the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund into the Consolidated Fund, at such times and in such manner as the Department of Finance and Personnel may direct, such sums as the Department may estimate (in accordance with any directions given by the Department of Finance and Personnel) to be the amount of the administrative expenses incurred by the Department under Articles 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11, excluding any category of expenses which the Department of Finance and Personnel may direct, or any statutory provision may require, to be excluded from the Department’s estimate under this Article.

Minor and consequential amendments and repeals

16.—(1) The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 4 shall have effect with the amendments there specified.

(2) The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 5 are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

Transitional and consequential provisions and savings

17.—(1) The Department may by regulations subject to negative resolution make—

(a)such transitional provision;

(b)such consequential provision; or

(c)such savings,

as the Department considers necessary or expedient in preparation for or in connection with the coming into operation of any provision of this Order or the operation of any statutory provision which is repealed or amended by a provision of this Order during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in operation.

(2) Regulations under paragraph (1) may make modifications of any statutory provision (including this Order); and in this paragraph “modifications” includes additions, omissions and amendments.

(3) Section 155(1) to (3A) of the principal Act shall apply to the power to make regulations conferred by paragraph (1) as they apply to any power to make regulations conferred by that Act but as if for references to that Act there were substituted references to that paragraph.

G. I. de Deney

Clerk of the Privy Council

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