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The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Article 12.

SCHEDULE 3THE SOCIAL FUND

Article 33 of the 1986 Order

1.  After paragraph (2) insert the following paragraph—

(2A) Payments may also be made out of that fund, in accordance with this Part, of a prescribed amount or a number of prescribed amounts to prescribed descriptions of persons, in prescribed circumstances to meet expenses for heating which appear to the Department to have been or to be likely to be incurred in cold weather..

2.  Paragraph (3) shall cease to have effect.

3.  After paragraph (7) insert the following paragraphs—

(7A) The Department shall prepare an annual report on the social fund.

(7B) A copy of every report prepared under paragraph (7A) shall be laid before the Assembly..

4.  In paragraph (8) the words from “and” to the end shall cease to have effect.

5.  After paragraph (8) insert the following paragraphs—

(8A) The Department shall allocate amounts for payments from the social fund such as are mentioned in paragraph (2)(b) in a financial year.

(8B) The Department may specify the amounts either as sums of money or by reference to money falling into the social fund on repayment or partial repayment of loans, or partly in the former and partly in the latter manner.

(8C) Allocations—

(a)may be for payments by a particular social fund officer or group of social fund officers;

(b)may be of different amounts for different purposes;

(c)may be made at such time or times as the Department considers appropriate; and

(d)may be in addition to any other allocation to the same officer or group of officers or for the same purpose.

(8D) The Department may at any time re-allocate amounts previously allocated, and paragraphs (8B) and (8C) shall have effect in relation to a re-allocation as they have effect in relation to an allocation..

6.  After paragraph (9) add the following paragraphs—

(10) The Department may nominate for an area a social fund officer to issue general guidance to the other social fund officers in the area about such matters relating to the social fund as the Department may specify.

(11) In determining any question under Article 34 or reviewing a question under Article 35 a social fund officer shall take account (subject to any directions or guidance issued by the Department under either of those Articles) or any guidance issued by the social fund officer nominated for his area under this paragraph (10).

(12) A social fund inspector reviewing a determination shall be under the same duties in relation to such guidance as the social fund officer or inspector who made the determination..

Article 34 of the 1986 Order

7.  At the end of paragraph (1) add “in such form and manner as may be prescribed”.

8.  After paragraph (1) insert the following paragraph—

(1A) The power to make a payment out of the social fund under Article 33(2)(b) may be exercised by making a payment to a third party with a view to the third party providing, or arranging for the provision of, goods or services for the applicant..

9.  After paragraph (4) insert the following paragraph—

(4A) An award that is to be repayable shall be repayable upon such terms and conditions as before the award is paid the Department notifies to the person by or on behalf of whom the application for it was made..

10.  In paragraph (9)(e) for “(8)” substitute “(8A) to (8D)”.

11.  After paragraph (10) insert the following paragraph—

(10A) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (10), the power to issue general directions conferred on the Department by that paragraph includes power to direct—

(a)that in circumstances specified in the direction a social fund officer shall not determine an application and, without prejudice to the generality of this sub-paragraph, that a social fund officer shall not determine an application which is made before the end of a specified period after the making of an application by the same person for a payment such as is mentioned in Article 33(2)(b) to meet the same need and without there having been any relevant change of circumstances since the previous application;

(b)that for a category of need specified in the direction a social fund officer shall not award less than an amount specified in the direction;

(c)that for a category of need specified in the direction a social fund officer shall not award more than an amount so specified;

(d)that payments to meet a category of need specified in the direction shall in all cases or in no case be made by instalments; and

(e)that payments to meet a category of need specified in the direction shall in all cases or in no case be repayable,

and the power to issue general guidance conferred on the Department by that paragraph includes power to give social fund officers guidance as to any matter to which directions under that paragraph may relate..

Miscellaneous provisions of the 1986 Order

12.  In Article 35(1)(a) omit “to him”.

13.  In Article 52(2), 53(6) and 54(10) (claims and payments, adjudication and overpayments) after “33(2)(a)” insert “or (2A)”.

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