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The Social Security(Northern Ireland) Order 1989

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).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 1989; and this Order may be cited together with the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Acts 1975 to 1988 as the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Acts 1975 to 1989.

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

(3) The following provisions of this Order shall come into operation on the twenty-first day after the day on which this Order is made—

(a)this Article and Article 2;

(b)Articles 4 to 6, 8, 16 to 22, 29, 30 and 31(3), subject in the case of Article 21 to paragraph (11) of that Article;

(c)Schedule 2;

(d)paragraphs 1, 12 and 13 of Schedule 3 (and Article 23 so far as relating to those paragraphs);

(e)paragraphs 2 to 4, 9 and 14 to 18 of Schedule 6 (and Article 26 so far as relating to those paragraphs);

(f)paragraphs 1 to 7 and 12 of Schedule 7 (and Article 27 so far as relating to those paragraphs);

(g)paragraphs 1, 4 to 6, 8 to 12, 16 and 17 of Schedule 8 (and Article 31 so far as relating to those paragraphs);

(h)the repeals in Schedule 9 to the extent that they are consequential on any provision specified in sub-paragraphs (a) to (g) (and Article 31 so far as relating to those repeals).

Interpretation

2.  (1)  The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(1) 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—

“Commissioner” has the same meaning as it has in the principal Act;

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

“the Old Cases Act” means the Industrial Injuries and Diseases (Northern Ireland Old Cases) Act 1975(2);

“the 1982 Order” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1982(3);

“the 1986 Order” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(4);

“the Pensions Order” means the Social Security Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1975(5);

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;

“the principal Act” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Act 1975(6);

“regulations” means regulations made by the Department;

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

(3) In this Order references to Northern Ireland include references to the territorial waters of the United Kingdom adjacent to Northern Ireland.

Contributions

Amendments relating to primary Class 1 contributions

3.  (1)  In section 4 of the principal Act, for subsections (6) to (6B) (computation of primary Class 1 contributions) there shall be substituted the following subsections—

(6) Where a primary Class 1 contribution is payable, the amount of that contribution shall be the aggregate of—

(a)the initial primary percentage of so much of the earnings paid in the tax week, in respect of the employment in question, as does not exceed the current lower earnings limit; and

(b)the main primary percentage of so much of those earnings as exceeds that limit but does not exceed the upper earnings limit;

but this subsection is subject to regulations under subsection (7) below or sections 123 to 126 below and to Article 29 of the Pensions Order (contracted-out rates).

(6A) For the purposes of this Act the primary percentages shall be as follows—

(a)the initial primary percentage shall be 2 per cent.; and

(b)the main primary percentage shall be 9 per cent.;

but the rates of those primary percentages are subject to alteration under section 120 below.

(6B) In the case of earners paid otherwise than weekly, any reference in subsection (6) above to the current upper, or (as the case may be) lower, earnings limit shall be taken as a reference to the prescribed equivalent of that limit..

(2) In section 128 of that Act (destination of contributions), in paragraphs (a) and (i) of subsection (4) (“appropriate health service allocation” and “appropriate employment protection allocation”, when in force, to include specified percentage of earnings in respect of which primary Class 1 contributions were paid) after the word “paid” there shall be inserted the words “at the main primary percentage rate”.

(3) In Schedule 17 to that Act (glossary of expressions) there shall be inserted at the appropriate places—

“Initial primary percentage”; “main primary percentage”; “primary percentage”.See section 4(6) and (6A). Construe “initial primary percentage rate” and “main primary percentage rate” as references to the percentage rates from time to time specified in section 4(6A)(a) or (b) as the initial or, as the case may be, main primary percentage.
“Main primary percentage”.See “initial primary percentage”; “main primary percentage”; “primary percentage” above.
“Primary percentage”.See “initial primary percentage”; “main primary percentage”; “primary percentage” above.

Repayment of contributions where earnings become repayable

4.  In Schedule 1 to the principal Act (contributions: supplementary provisions) in paragraph 6(1) (matters for which regulations may provide) after head (g) there shall be inserted the following head—

(gg)for the repayment, in prescribed cases, of the whole or a prescribed part of any contributions paid by reference to earnings which have become repayable;.

Abolition of Consolidated Fund supplement to contributions

5.  No payments by way of supplement, or adjustment of supplement, under section 1(5) of the principal Act shall be made after 31st March 1989 in respect of any contributions whether paid before, on or after that date.

Earnings factors

6.  (1)  Section 13 of the principal Act (contribution conditions and earnings factors) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) In subsection (5) (manner in which tables and rules are to be drawn up) after the words “so that in general—” there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(a)for any tax year beginning on or after 6th April 1987, the amount of earnings on which primary Class 1 contributions have been paid or treated as paid gives rise, subject to subsection (5A) below, to an earnings factor for that year equal or approximating to the amount of those earnings; and.

(3) After subsection (5A) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(5AA) Regulations may impose limits with respect to the earnings factors which a person may have or be treated as having in respect of any one tax year..

(4) After subsection (5B) (duty to maintain and retain records) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(5C) Where the Department is satisfied that records of earnings relevant for the purpose of calculating a person’s earnings factors for a tax year beginning on or after 6th April 1987 have not been maintained or retained or are otherwise unobtainable then, for the purpose of determining those earnings factors, it may—

(a)compute, in such manner as it thinks fit, an amount which shall be regarded as the amount of that person’s earnings on which primary Class 1 contributions have been paid or treated as paid, or

(b)take the amount of those earnings to be such sum as it may specify in the particular case..

(5) The Earnings Factor Regulations, as in operation for the purpose of determining earnings factors for the tax years beginning with 6th April 1985 and 6th April 1986, shall have effect, and be taken always to have had effect, with the substitution in paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 (which, as amended by regulation 2(3) of the Amending Regulations, provided in certain cases for the aggregation of separate contributions) for the words from “where the values” to “those sums” of the words—

  • where, in the case of any two or more separate sums—

    (a)

    the values to be accorded to F (apart from this paragraph) would fall to be ascertained under the same head of paragraph 2(e) above, and

    (b)

    the values to be so accorded to G would fall to be ascertained under the same head of paragraph 2(f) above,

    those sums.

(6) In paragraph (5)—

“the Earnings Factor Regulations” means the Social Security (Earnings Factor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1979(7); and

“the Amending Regulations” means the Social Security (Earnings Factor) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1985(8).

(7) The amendment by paragraph (5) of a provision contained in regulations shall not be taken to have prejudiced any power to make further regulations revoking or amending that provision, whether in relation to the tax years there mentioned or otherwise.

(8) The Social Security (Earnings Factor) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1988(9) shall have effect, and be deemed always to have had effect, as if the amendment made by paragraph (3) had come into operation before the making of those regulations.

Liability to maintain children

Liability of parents to maintain children under the age of nineteen in respect of whom income support is paid

7.  (1)  In Article 21(11) of the 1986 Order (definitions for Part III) for the definition of “child” there shall be substituted the following definition—

“child”, subject to Article 27(3)(d), means a person under the age of 16;.

(2) In Article 27(3) of that Order (person liable to maintain spouse and children, etc.)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a), for the words “his children” there shall be substituted the words “any children of whom he is the father”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (b), for the words “her children” there shall be substituted the words “any children of whom she is the mother”; and

(c)after sub-paragraph (c) there shall be added the words

and

(d)“child” includes a person who has attained the age of 16 but not the age of 19 and in respect of whom either parent, or some person acting in the place of either parent, is receiving income support..

(3) In Article 27(4) of that Order (application to illegitimate children)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a), for the words “a man’s children” there shall be substituted the words “children of whom the man is the father”; and

(b)in sub-paragraph (b), for the words “a woman’s children” there shall be substituted the words “children of whom the woman is the mother”.

Benefits under the principal Act

Benefits for women widowed before 11th April 1988

8.  (1)  In the case of a widow whose late husband died before 11th April 1988 and who either—

(a)was over the age of 40 but under the age of 55 at the time of her husband’s death, or

(b)is over the age of 40 but under the age of 55 at the time when she ceases to be entitled to a widowed mother’s allowance,

section 26 of the principal Act (widow’s pension) shall have effect, and be taken always to have had effect, as if Article 37(3) of the 1986 Order (which substituted “45” for “40”, and “55” for “50”, in subsections (1) and (2)) had never come into operation.

(2) The Social Security (Widow’s Benefit and Retirement Pensions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(10) shall have effect, and be taken always to have had effect, with the addition at the end of regulation 3 (transitional provision for widowed mother’s allowance where husband died before 11th April 1988) of the following paragraphs—

(3) In determining whether a widow—

(a)whose late husband died on or after 7th October 1987 and before 11th April 1988, and

(b)who became entitled to a widow’s allowance on his death,

is also entitled, after the cessation of that allowance, to a widowed mother’s allowance for any period beginning on or after 11th April 1988, regulation 16(1) of the principal regulations shall apply as if regulation 2(6) above had not been made.

(4) In determining whether a widow—

(a)whose late husband died before 11th April 1988,

(b)who immediately before that date was entitled to a widowed mother’s allowance otherwise than by virtue of regulation 16(1) of the principal regulations, and

(c)who would, apart from this paragraph, cease to be entitled to that allowance on or after that date,

is entitled to such an allowance for any period beginning on or after that date, that regulation shall apply as if regulation 2(6) above had not been made..

(3) The Social Security Benefit (Dependency) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989(11) shall have effect, and be taken always to have had effect, with the insertion after regulation 3 (which made amendments concerning widowed mother’s allowance to regulation 4B of the Social Security Benefit (Dependency) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1977(12) of the following regulation—

3A.  The amendment made by regulation 3(a) above shall not have effect in relation to a widow whose late husband died before 11th April 1988..

(4) In any case where—

(a)a claim for a widow’s pension or a widowed mother’s allowance is made, or treated as made, before the commencement of this Article, and

(b)the Department has made a payment to or for the claimant on the ground that, if the claim had been received immediately after the commencement of this Article, she would have been entitled to that pension or allowance, or entitled to it at a higher rate, for the period in respect of which the payment is made,

the payment so made shall be treated as a payment of that pension or allowance; and, if and to the extent that an award of the pension or allowance, or an award at a higher rate, is made for the period in respect of which the payment was made, the payment shall be treated as made in accordance with that award.

(5) Where, apart from section 154A of the principal Act (making of claim a condition of entitlement), a widow falling within paragraph (1) would be entitled to a widow’s pension for any period beginning on or after 11th April 1988, then, notwithstanding anything in that section, she shall be entitled to that pension for that period if she has made a claim for it before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this Article.

(6) Where a widow’s late husband died on or after 7th October 1987 and before 11th April 1988 and, apart from section 154A of the principal Act, she would have become entitled to a widow’s allowance on his death, then if either—

(a)she was over the age of 40 but under the age of 55 at the time of his death, or

(b)she would, apart from that section, have been entitled to a widowed mother’s allowance on the cessation of her entitlement to the widow’s allowance,

she shall, notwithstanding anything in that section, be entitled to the widow’s allowance (and, accordingly, in a case falling within sub-paragraph (b), to the widowed mother’s allowance) if she has made a claim, or is treated as having made a claim, for it before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this Article.

(7) Where in consequence of any of the amending provisions an adjudicating authority has decided before the commencement of this Article that a widow whose husband died before 11th April 1988 either—

(a)is not entitled to a benefit under section 25 or 26 of the principal Act, or

(b)is entitled to such a benefit at a particular rate,

an adjudication officer may review that decision, notwithstanding anything in section 104 of the principal Act.

(8) In any case where—

(a)it is determined on such a review that the widow in question was entitled to a benefit under section 25 or 26 of the principal Act, or was entitled to such a benefit at a higher rate, and

(b)the application for the review was made before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this Article,

the decision on the review may take effect on 11th April 1988 or any later date, notwithstanding any statutory provision restricting the payment of any benefit or increase of benefit to which a person would otherwise be entitled by reason of a review in respect of any period before the review.

(9) Subsection (4) of section 104 (appeals from reviews) of the principal Act shall apply in relation to a review under this Article as it applies in relation to a review under that section.

(10) In this Article—

“adjudicating authority” means—

(a)

an adjudication officer;

(b)

a social security appeal tribunal;

(c)

a Commissioner; and

“the amending provisions” are—

(a)

Article 37(3) of the 1986 Order; and

(b)

regulation 2(6) of the Social Security (Widow’s Benefit and Retirement Pensions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(13) (deemed entitlement to child allowance for purposes of widowed mother’s allowance, etc.).

(11) The amendment by this Article of provisions contained in regulations shall not be taken to have prejudiced any power to make further regulations revoking or amending those provisions.

(12) Nothing in this Article shall be taken to prejudice section 28 or 29 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(14) (effect of repeals, substitutions, etc.).

Abolition of earnings rule etc.

9.  (1)  In section 30 of the principal Act, subsection (1) (the earnings rule) shall cease to have effect.

(2) In section 28(1)(a) of that Act (conditions of entitlement to Category A retirement pension) the words “and has retired from regular employment” shall cease to have effect.

(3) In section 29 of that Act (woman’s Category B retirement pension)—

(a)in subsections (2) and (3) (first and second cases of entitlement) in paragraph (a), for the words “both of them have retired from regular employment” there shall be substituted the words “has become entitled to a Category A retirement pension”; and

(b)in subsection (5), paragraph (a) (requirement, in fourth such case, to have retired from regular employment) shall cease to have effect.

(4) For Article 14 of the Pensions Order (deferred retirement) there shall be substituted the following Article—

Increase of retirement pension where entitlement is deferred

14.  (1)  Where a person’s entitlement to a Category A or Category B retirement pension is deferred, Schedule 1 shall have effect for increasing the rate of his pension.

(2) For the purposes of this Order and the principal Act, a person’s entitlement to a Category A or Category B retirement pension is “deferred” if and so long as he does not become entitled to that pension by reason only—

(a)that he has not satisfied the conditions of section 154A of the principal Act (requirement to claim); or

(b)that, in the case of a woman’s Category B retirement pension by virtue of her husband’s contributions, her husband has not satisfied those conditions with respect to his Category A retirement pension;

and, in relation to any such pension, “period of deferment” shall be construed accordingly..

(5) Paragraph (1) affects the rate of pension to which a person is entitled for the week in which that paragraph comes into operation as well as any subsequent week (“week” having the same meaning in this paragraph as it had in the proviso to the said section 30(1) immediately before its repeal).

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

Mobility allowance: increase of age limit to 80 years

10.  (1)  In section 37A of the principal Act (mobility allowance), in paragraphs (a) and (aa) of subsection (4) and in subsection (5A) (each of which refers to the age of 75) for “75” there shall be substituted “80”.

(2) For subsection (5B) of that section there shall be substituted the following subsection—

(5B) Where, before the coming into force of this subsection, a person has been awarded a mobility allowance for a specified period ending with—

(a)the date on which he will attain pensionable age, or

(b)the date on which he will attain the age of 75,

that award shall have effect as if it referred instead to a period ending with the date on which he will attain the age of 80..

Extension to personal pensions of occupational pension provisions relating to the abatement of unemployment benefit and the meaning of “earnings”

11.  (1)  In Article 5 of the Social Security (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1980(15) (abatement of unemployment benefit on account of payments of occupational pensions) in paragraphs (1), (2) and (4) for the words “occupational pension” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted the words “occupational or personal pension”.

(2) In paragraph (3) of that Article (definitions) for the definition of “payments by way of occupational pension” there shall be substituted the following definition—

  • “payments by way of occupational or personal pension” means, in relation to a person, periodical payments which, in connection with the coming to an end of an employment of his, fall to be made to him—

    (a)

    out of money provided wholly or partly by the employer or under arrangements made by the employer; or

    (b)

    out of money provided under an enactment or instrument having the force of law in any part of the United Kingdom or elsewhere; or

    (c)

    under a personal pension scheme as defined in Article 2(2) of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1986; or

    (d)

    under a contract or trust scheme approved under Chapter III of Part XIV of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988(16); or

    (e)

    under a personal pension scheme approved under Chapter IV of that Part of that Act,

    and such other payments as are prescribed..

(3) In sections 47B and 66A of the principal Act (earnings to include occupational pensions for the purposes of certain benefits) for the words “occupational pension” in each place where they occur there shall be substituted the words “occupational or personal pension”.

(4) In Schedule 17 of that Act (glossary of expressions) in the entry relating to “payments by way of occupational pension” for the words “occupational pension” there shall be substituted the words “occupational or personal pension”.

Unemployment benefit: requirement to seek employment actively

12.  (1)  Section 17 of the principal Act (determination of days for which benefit is payable) shall have effect with the amendments made by paragraphs (2) to (4), which are made for the purpose of requireing a claimant for unemployment benefit to show that he is actively seeking employment.

(2) In subsection (1)(a)(i) (days not to be treated as days of unemployment unless certain conditions are fulfilled) after the words “available to be employed in employed earner’s employment” there shall be inserted the words “and that day falls in a week in which he is, or is deemed in accordance with regulations to be, actively seeking such employment”.

(3) In subsection (2) (regulations) after paragraph (a) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(aa)make provision with respect to—

(i)steps which a person is required to take in any week if he is to be regarded as actively seeking employed earner’s employment in that week;

(ii)the meaning of “week” in subsection (1)(a)(i) above or in any other provision relating to a person’s actively seeking employed earner’s employment;.

(4) After subsection (2A) of that section (determination of actual availability for employment on review of determination of deemed availability) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(2B) Where it has been determined that a person is to be deemed in accordance with regulations to be actively seeking employed earner’s employment in any week, the question of his actually doing so in that week may be subsequently determined on a review of the determination as to his deemed doing so..

(5) In section 104 of that Act (review of decisions), in subsection (1)(d), after the words “section 17(2A)” there shall be inserted the words “or (2B)”.

Requalification for unemployment benefit

13.  In section 18 of the principal Act, for subsection (2) (requalification for unemployment benefit) there shall be substituted the following subsections—

(2) A person who has exhausted his right to unemployment benefit requalifies for it on the next occasion when, having again been in employment as an employed earner, he makes a claim for that benefit in circumstances such that the requalification conditions are satisfied with respect to each of at least 13 weeks in the period of 26 weeks immediately preceding—

(a)the day on which the claim is made, or

(b)if he would not requalify by reference to that day, his first day of unemployment since he was last in employment as an employed earner.

(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2) above the requalification conditions are satisfied with respect to any week if—

(a)the person in question has been in employment as an employed earner in that week;

(b)he has worked in such employment for at least 16 hours in that week; and

(c)the week begins after the last day for which he was entitled to unemployment benefit.

(2B) Subsection (2) above shall have effect in prescribed cases with the substitution for the reference to 26 weeks of a reference to such longer period as may be prescribed..

Disqualification for unemployment benefit

14.  (1)  In subsection (1) of section 20 of the principal Act (disqualifications, etc.)—

(a)at the beginning, there shall be inserted the words “Subject to section 20A below”;

(b)in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d), for the words “suitable employment” there shall be substituted the word “employ-ment”;

(c)in paragraphs (c) and (g), immediately before the word “neglected” there shall be inserted the words “without good cause”.

(2) In subsection (1A) of that section the words “longer or” shall cease to have effect.

(3) For subsection (4) of that section (meaning of “suitable employment”) there shall be substituted the following subsection—

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) above, regulations may—

(a)prescribe matters which are or are not to be taken into account in determining whether a person does or does not have good cause for any act or omission; or

(b)prescribe circumstances in which a person is or is not to be regarded as having or not having good cause for any act or omission;

but, subject to any such regulations, in determining for the purposes of that subsection whether a person does or does not have good cause for any act or omission, there shall be disregarded any matter relating to the level of remuneration in the employment in question..

(4) After that section there shall be inserted the following section—

Exemptions from disqualification for unemployment benefit.

20A.  (1)  Nothing in section 20 above or in regulations under that section shall be taken to disqualify a person for receiving unemployment benefit by reason only of his refusal—

(a)to seek or accept employment in a situation which is vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute; or

(b)to seek or accept during the permitted period any employment other than employment in his usual occupation at a level of remuneration not lower than he is accustomed to receive.

(2) Regulations shall make provision for the purpose of enabling any person of a prescribed description to accept any employed earner’s employment without being disqualified under—

(a)subsection (1)(a) of section 20 above, so far as it relates to a person who voluntarily leaves such employment without just cause, or

(b)subsection (1)(c) of that section,

should he leave that employment voluntarily and without just cause at any time after the end of the 6th week, but not later than the end of the 12th week, of a trial period.

(3) In this section—

“permitted period” in relation to any person, means such period, whether expired or not, as may be determined in accordance with regulations by an adjudication officer on the submission of the question whether that person is disqualified under section 20 above for receiving unemployment benefit; and any such regulations may prescribe—

(a)

the day on which any such period shall be regarded as having commenced in any case;

(b)

the shortest and longest periods which may be so determined in any case; and

(c)

criteria to which the adjudication officer is to have regard in determining the permitted period in any case; and

“trial period” means a period of 12 weeks beginning with the commencement of the employment in question; but regulations may—

(a)

make provision for the purpose of determining the day on which a person’s employment is to be regarded as commencing; and

(b)

provide that, for the purpose of determining the time at which the 6th or 12th week of a trial period ends, prescribed periods may be disregarded in prescribed circumstances..

(5) In Schedule 17 to that Act (glossary of expressions) in the second column of the entry relating to “employment”, the following paragraph shall be added at the end—

  • Regulations may make provision modifying the meaning of “employment” for the purposes of any provision of this Act..

(6) Nothing in paragraph (2) shall affect the continuing operation of the Unemployment Benefit (Disqualification Period) Order (Northern Ireland) 1988(17) (which substituted the period of 26 weeks for the period of 13 weeks in section 20(1) of the principal Act).

Income-related benefits

Income support and unemployment

15.  (1)  In Article 21 of the 1986 Order (income-related benefits) in paragraph (3)(d)(i) (availability for employment as a condition for income support) after the words “available for” there shall be inserted the words “, and actively seeking,”.

(2) In paragraph (12) of that Article, for sub-paragraph (d) (regulations defining availability for) employment etc.) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(d)as to circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as—

(i)engaged or normally engaged in remunerative work;

(ii)available for employment; or

(iii)actively seeking employment;.

Housing benefit to take the form of payments or reductions

16.  (1)  In Article 29 of the 1986 Order (arrangements for housing benefit) after paragraph (1) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(1A) The rebates and allowances referred to in paragraph (1) may take any of the following forms, that is to say—

(a)a payment or payments by the Executive or the Department of the Environment, as the case may be, to the person entitled to the benefit;

(b)a reduction in the amount of any payments which that person is liable to make to the Executive or the Department of the Environment, as the case may be, by way of rent or rates; or

(c)such a payment or payments and such a reduction;

and in any statutory provision (whenever passed or made) “pay”, in relation to housing benefit, includes discharge in any of those forms..

(2) Paragraph (1) shall be deemed to have come into operation on 1st April 1988.

Housing benefit grant

17.  In Article 31 of the 1986 Order for paragraph (4) (conditions for payment of grant) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs—

(4) A grant under this Article shall be payable by the Department at such time and in such manner as the Department may think fit.

(5) Unless the Department otherwise determines, a grant under this Article shall not be payable until the Executive has made a claim for it in such form as the Department may determine.

(6) The Department may withhold from the Executive so much of any grant under this Article as it thinks fit until either—

(a)the Executive has supplied it with prescribed particulars relating to its claim for a grant and complied with prescribed conditions as to records, certificates, audit or otherwise; or

(b)the Department is satisfied that there is a good reason for the Executive’s failure to supply those particulars or comply with those conditions.

(7) If the Executive fails to make a claim for a grant within such period as the Department considers reasonable, it may withhold from the Executive such part of the grant as it thinks fit for so long as it thinks fit.

(8) Where the amount of the grant paid to the Executive for any year is found to be incorrect, the amount payable to it for any subsequent year may be adjusted for the purpose of rectifying that mistake in whole or in part..

Expenses in making transitional payments relating to income support and housing benefit

18.  (1)  Any expenses of the Department or the Department of the Environment in making payments to persons falling within paragraph (2) or (3) may be paid out of money appropriated by Measure.

(2) A person falls within this paragraph if—

(a)he was entitled to supplementary benefit immediately before 11th April 1988, but

(b)he did not become entitled to income support in respect of the week beginning with that day.

(3) A person falls within this paragraph if he was entitled to any one or more of the former housing-related benefits in respect of a qualifying week but either—

(a)he did not become entitled to housing benefit under Part III of the 1986 Order in respect of the commencement week, or

(b)the amount of any such housing benefit to which he became entitled in respect of that week was less than the amount of the former housing-related benefits to which he had been entitled in respect of the qualifying week.

(4) In this Article—

“commencement day” means the day on which the new provisions came into operation in the case of the person in question (1st or 4th April 1988, according to the circumstances);

“commencement week”, in relation to any person, means the week beginning with the commencement day in his case;

“the former housing-related benefits” means—

(a)

rent rebates, rate rebates and rent allowances, within the meaning of the Housing Benefits (Northern Ireland) Order 1983(18); and

(b)

housing benefit supplement;

“the new provisions” means the following provisions of Part III of the 1986 Order, so far as relating to housing benefit, that is to say, Articles 21 to 23, 29 and 30;

“qualifying week”, in relation to any person, means any week beginning on or after 21st March 1988 and ending before the commencement day in his case;

“week” means a period of 7 days.

(5) For the purposes of this Article—

(a)a person shall be regarded as having been entitled to housing benefit supplement in respect of a week if an amount was applicable in respect of him under regulation 19A of the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1983(19) in respect of that week; and

(b)the amount of housing benefit supplement to which he was entitled in respect of that week shall be taken to be an amount equal to the amount so applicable.

Up-rating

Rectification of mistakes in up-rating orders

19.  (1)  After Article 64 of the 1986 Order (up-rating of certain sums) there shall be inserted the following Article—

Rectification of mistakes in orders under Article 64

64A.  Whenever the Secretary of State makes an order under section 63A (rectification of mistakes) of the Social Security Act 1986(20) the Department may make a corresponding order for Northern Ireland..

(2) In the 1986 Order—

(a)in paragraph (1)(b) of Article 65 (effect of alteration of rates of benefit), after the words “Article 64” there shall be inserted the words “or 64A”;

(b)in paragraph (3) of Article 81 (orders and regulations), after sub-paragraph (c) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(cc)an order under Article 64A;.

(3) In section 59B of the principal Act (retirement allowance) after subsection (5) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(5A) For the purpose of determining under subsection (5) above the weekly rate of retirement allowance in the case of a beneficiary who—

(a)retires or is deemed to have retired on 10th April 1989, and

(b)on 9th April 1989 was entitled to reduced earnings allowance at a rate which was restricted under section 59A(8) above by reference to 40 per cent. of the maximum rate of disablement pension,

it shall be assumed that the weekly rate of reduced earnings allowance to which he was entitled on 9th April 1989 was £26.96..

(4) Article 4 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1988(21) (certain persons to be entitled to reduced earnings allowance after introduction of retirement allowance etc.) shall have effect with the amendments specified in paragraphs (5) and (6).

(5) After paragraph (4) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

(4A) For the purpose of determining under paragraph (4) the weekly rate of reduced earnings allowance payable in the case of a qualifying beneficiary, it shall be assumed that the weekly rate at which the allowance was payable to him on the relevant date was—

(a)£25.84, where that date is 10th April 1988, or

(b)£26.96, where that date is 9th April 1989.

(4B) In paragraph (4A) “qualifying beneficiary” means a person entitled to reduced earnings allowance by virtue of paragraph (3) who—

(a)did not attain pensionable age before 6th April 1987, or

(b)did not retire from regular employment before that date,

and who, on the relevant date, was entitled to the allowance at a rate which was restricted under section 59A(8) of the principal Act by reference to 40 per cent. of the maximum rate of disablement pension..

(6) In paragraph (6) (relevant date for persons entitled to the allowance by virtue of paragraph (3)(b)) after the words “by virtue” there shall be inserted the word “only”.

(7) Paragraphs (3) to (6) shall be deemed to have come into operation on 10th April 1989.

Effect of alteration in the component rates of income support

20.  After Article 65 of the 1986 Order (effect of alteration of rates of benefit) there shall be inserted the following Article—

Effect of alteration in the component rates of income support

65A.  (1)  Subject to such exceptions and conditions as may be prescribed, where—

(a)an award of income support is in force in favour of any person (“the recipient”), and

(b)there is an alteration in any of the relevant amounts, that is to say—

(i)any of the component rates of income support,

(ii)any of the other sums specified in regulations under Part III, or

(iii)the recipient’s benefit income, and

(c)the alteration affects the computation of the amount of income support to which the recipient is entitled,

then paragraph (2) or (3) (as the case may be) shall have effect.

(2) Where, in consequence of the alteration in question, the recipient becomes entitled to an increased or reduced amount of income support (“the new amount”), then, as from the commencing date, the amount of income support payable to or for the recipient under the award shall be the new amount, without any further decision of an adjudication officer, and the award shall have effect accordingly.

(3) Where, notwithstanding the alteration in question, the recipient continues on and after the commencing date to be entitled to the same amount of income support as before, the award shall continue in force accordingly.

(4) In any case where—

(a)there is an alteration in any of the relevant amounts, and

(b)before the commencing date (but after that date is fixed) an award of income support is made in favour of a person,

the award either may provide for income support to be paid as from the commencing date, in which case the amount shall be determined by reference to the relevant amounts which will be in force on that date, or may provide for an amount determined by reference to the amounts in force at the date of the award.

(5) In this Article—

“alteration” means—

(a)

in relation to—

(i)

the component rates of income support, or

(ii)

any other sums specified in regulations under Part III,

their alteration by or under any statutory provision whether or not contained in that Part; and

(b)

in relation to a person’s benefit income, the alteration of any of the applicable sums—

(i)

by any statutory provision, or

(ii)

by an order under Article 64 or 64A,

to the extent that any such alteration affects the amount of his benefit income;

“applicable sums” means sums to which an order made under Article 64 corresponding to an order made under section 63 of the Social Security Act 1986 by virtue of subsection (1) of that section may apply;

“benefit income”, in relation to any person, means so much of his income as consists of—

(a)

benefit under the benefit Acts, other than income support; or

(b)

a war disablement pension or war widow’s pension;

“the commencing date”, in relation to an alteration, means the date on which the alteration comes into operation in the case of the person in question;

“component rate”, in relation to income support, means the amount of—

(a)

any of the sums specified in regulations under Article 23(1); or

(b)

the sum referred to in Article 24(5)(b)(i) and (ii);

“relevant amounts” has the meaning given by paragraph (1)(b)..

Information and adjudication

Unauthorised disclosure of information relating to particular persons

21.  (1)  A person who is or has been employed in social security administration or adjudication is guilty of an offence if he discloses without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of his employment and which relates to a particular person.

(2) A person who is or has been employed in the audit of expenditure or the investigation of complaints is guilty of an offence if he discloses without lawful authority any information—

(a)which he acquired in the course of his employment;

(b)which is, or is derived from, information acquired or held by or for the purposes of any of the government departments or other bodies or persons referred to in Part I of Schedule 2 or in any corresponding enactment having effect in Great Britain; and

(c)which relates to a particular person.

(3) It is not an offence under this Article—

(a)to disclose information in the form of a summary or collection of information so framed as not to enable information relating to any particular person to be ascertained from it; or

(b)to disclose information which has previously been disclosed to the public with lawful authority.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this Article to prove that at the time of the alleged offence—

(a)he believed that he was making the disclosure in question with lawful authority and had no reasonable cause to believe otherwise; or

(b)he believed that the information in question had previously been disclosed to the public with lawful authority and had no reasonable cause to believe otherwise.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this Article shall be liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both; or

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

(6) For the purposes of this Article, the persons who are “employed in social security administration or adjudication” are—

(a)any person specified in Part I of Schedule 2 or in any corresponding enactment having effect in Great Britain;

(b)any other person who carries out the administrative work of any of the government departments or other bodies or persons referred to in that Part of that Schedule or that corresponding enactment; and

(c)any person who provides, or is employed in the provision of, services to any of those departments, persons or bodies;

and “employment”, in relation to any such person, shall be construed accordingly.

(7) For the purposes of paragraphs (2) and (6), any reference in Part I of Schedule 2 or any corresponding enactment having effect in Great Britain to a government department shall be construed in accordance with Part II of that Schedule or any corresponding enactment having effect in Great Britain, and for this purpose “government department” shall be taken to include the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.

(8) For the purposes of this Article, the persons who are “employed in the audit of expenditure or the investigation of complaints” are—

(a)the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland;

(b)the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration;

(c)the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints;

(d)the Comptroller and Auditor General;

(e)the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration;

(f)any member of the staff of the Northern Ireland Audit Office or of the National Audit Office;

(g)any other person who carries out the administrative work of either of those Offices, or who provides, or is employed in the provision of, services to either of them;

(h)the Health Service Commissioner for England, Wales or Scotland; and

(i)any officer of any of the Commissioners referred to in sub-paragraphs (b), (c), (e) or (h);

and “employment”, in relation to any such person, shall be construed accordingly.

(9) For the purposes of this Article a disclosure is to be regarded as made with lawful authority if, and only if, it is made—

(a)in accordance with his official duty—

(i)by a civil servant; or

(ii)by a person employed in the audit of expenditure or the investigation of complaints who does not fall within paragraph (8)(g);

(b)by any other person either—

(i)for the purposes of the function in the exercise of which he holds the information and without contravening any restriction duly imposed by the person responsible; or

(ii)to, or in accordance with an authorisation duly given by, the person responsible;

(c)in accordance with any statutory provision or order of a court;

(d)for the purpose of instituting, or otherwise for the purposes of, any proceedings before a court or before any tribunal or other body or person referred to in Part I of Schedule 2; or

(e)with the consent of the appropriate person;

and in this paragraph “the person responsible” means the Department, the Lord Chancellor or any person authorised by the Department or the Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this paragraph and includes a reference to “the person responsible” within the meaning of any corresponding enactment having effect in Great Britain.

(10) For the purposes of paragraph (9)(e), “the appropriate person” means the person to whom the information in question relates, except that if the affairs of that person are being dealt with—

(a)under a power of attorney,

(b)by a controller appointed under Article 101 of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(22) or by a receiver appointed under section 99 of the Mental Health Act 1983(23),

(c)by a Scottish mental health custodian, that is to say—

(i)a curator bonis, tutor or judicial factor, or

(ii)the managers of a hospital acting on behalf of that person under section 94 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984(24), or

(d)by a mental health appointee, that is to say—

(i)a person directed or authorised as mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) of rule 38(1) of Order 109 of the Rules of the Supreme Court (Northern Ireland) 1980(25) or any similar appointee in Great Britain, or

(ii)a controller ad interim appointed under sub-paragraph (b) of that rule or any similar appointee in Great Britain,

the appropriate person is the attorney, controller, receiver, custodian or appointee, as the case may be, or, in a case falling within sub-paragraph (a), the person to whom the information relates.

(11) This Article shall come into operation—

(a)on the repeal of section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911(26); or

(b)in accordance with Article 1(3),

whichever is the later.

Disclosure of information by Inland Revenue for social security purposes

22.  In Article 60 of the 1986 Order (information which may be disclosed by the Inland Revenue for social security purposes)—

(a)in paragraph (1) (information obtained in connection with the assessment or collection of income tax) after the word “obtained” there shall be inserted the words “or held”; and

(b)in paragraph (2) (which restricts the information which may be so disclosed about self-employed earners to the commencement and cessation of their trade, etc.) after the words “cessation of” there shall be inserted the words “, and employed earners engaged in,”.

Miscellaneous amendments relating to adjudication

23.  The statutory provisons mentioned in Schedule 3 (which relate to adjudication) shall have effect with the amendments there specified.

Recovery from damages, etc., of sums equivalent to benefit

Recovery of sums equivalent to benefit from compensation payments in respect of accidents, injuries and diseases

24.  (1)  A person (the “compensator”) making a compensation payment, whether on behalf of himself or another, in consequence of an accident, injury or disease suffered by any other person (the “victim”) shall not do so until the Department has furnished him with a certificate of total benefit and shall then—

(a)deduct from the payment an amount, determined in accordance with the certificate of total benefit, equal to the gross amount of any relevant benefits paid or likely to be paid to or for the victim during the relevant period in respect of that accident, injury or disease;

(b)pay to the Department an amount equal to that which is required to be so deducted; and

(c)furnish the person to whom the compensation payment is or, apart from this Article, would have been made (the “intended recipient”) with a certificate of deduction.

(2) Any right of the intended recipient to receive the compensation payment in question shall be regarded as satisfied to the extent of the amount certified in the certificate of deduction.

(3) In this Article—

“benefit” means any benefit under—

(a)

the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Acts 1975 to 1988, or

(b)

the Old Cases Act,

and the “relevant benefits” are such of those benefits as may be prescribed for the purposes of this Article;

“certificate of total benefit” means a certificate given by the Department in accordance with Schedule 4;

“certificate of deduction” means a certificate given by the compensator specifying the amount which he has deducted and paid to the Department in pursuance of paragraph (1);

“compensation payment” means any payment falling to be made (whether voluntarily, or in pursuance of a court order or an agreement, or otherwise)—

(a)

to or in respect of the victim in consequence of the accident, injury or disease in question, and

(b)

by or on behalf of a person who is, or is alleged to be, liable to any extent in respect of that accident, injury or disease,

and includes, in particular, so much of the payment as represents reimbursement for costs incurred in procuring it, but does not include benefit or an exempt payment;

“compensator”, “victim” and “intended recipient” shall be construed in accordance with paragraph (1);

“payment” means payment in money or money’s worth;

“relevant period” means—

(a)

in the case of a disease, the period of 5 years beginning with the date on which the victim first claims a relevant benefit in consequence of the disease; or

(b)

in any other case, the period of 5 years from the day on which the accident or injury in question occurred;

but where before the end of that period the compensator makes a compensation payment in final discharge of any claim made by or in respect of the victim and arising out of the accident, injury or disease, the relevant period shall end on the date on which that payment is made whether or not any subsequent payment falls to be made in respect only of taxed costs.

(4) For the purposes of this Article the following are the “exempt payments”—

(a)any small payment, as defined in paragraph 4 of Schedule 4;

(b)any payment made to or for the victim under Article 3 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1980(27);

(c)any payment to the extent that it is made—

(i)in consequence of an action under the Fatal Accidents (Northern Ireland) Order 1977(28); or

(ii)in circumstances where, had an action been brought, it would have been brought under that Order;

(d)without prejudice to section 6(4) of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979(29) (which provides for the deduction of any such payment in the assessment of any award of damages), any payment made under that Act to or in respect of the victim;

(e)any award of compensation made to or in respect of the victim by the Secretary of State under Article 3 or Article 10 of the Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988(30);

(f)any payment made in the exercise of a discretion out of property held subject to a trust in a case where no more than 50 per cent. by value of the capital contributed to the trust was directly or indirectly provided by persons who are, or are alleged to be, liable in respect of—

(i)the accident, injury or disease suffered by the victim in question; or

(ii)the same or any connected accident, injury or disease suffered by another;

(g)any payment made out of property held for the purposes of any prescribed trust (whether the payment also falls within sub-paragraph (f) or not);

(h)any payment made to the victim by an insurance company within the meaning of the Insurance Companies Act 1982(31) under the terms of any contract of insurance entered into between the victim and the company before—

(i)the date on which the victim first claims a relevant benefit in consequence of the disease in question; or

(ii)the occurrence of the accident or injury in question;

(i)any redundancy payment falling to be taken into account in the assessment of damages in respect of an accident, injury or disease.

(5) The Department may by regulations provide that any prescribed payment shall be an exempt payment for the purposes of this Article.

(6) Except as provided by any other statutory provision, in the assessment of damages in respect of an accident, injury or disease the amount of any relevant benefits paid or likely to be paid shall be disregarded.

(7) Schedule 4 shall have effect for the purpose of supplementing the provisions of this Article; and this Article shall have effect subject to the provisions of that Schedule.

(8) This Article and that Schedule shall apply in relation to any compensation payment made after the coming into operation of this Article to the extent that it is made in respect of—

(a)an accident or injury occurring on or after 1st January 1989; or

(b)a disease, if the victim’s first claim for a relevant benefit in consequence of the disease is made on or after that date.

Occupational and personal pensions, etc.

Equal treatment for men and women

25.  Schedule 5 shall have effect for the purpose of implementing the directive of the Council of the European Communities, dated 24th July 1986(32), relating to the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes, and of making additional, supplemental and consequential provision.

Miscellaneous amendments relating to pensions

26.  The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 6 (which relate to occupational and personal pensions) shall have effect with the amendments there specified.

General and supplementary provisions

Pre-consolidation amendments

27.  (1)  The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 7 shall have effect subject to the amendments there specified, being amendments designed to facilitate, or otherwise desirable in connection with, the consolidation of statutory provisions relating to social security or pensions.

(2) The amendment by that Schedule of any statutory provision which takes effect by virtue of any order or regulations shall not be taken to have prejudiced any power to make further orders or regulations revoking or amending that statutory provision.

Application to the Crown

28.  The provisions of Article 24 and Schedule 4 shall apply in relation to the making of a compensation payment by the Crown as they apply in relation to the making of such a payment by any other compensator, within the meaning of that Article.

Financial provisions

29.  (1)  There shall be paid out of the 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 3 to 6, 8, 9, 11 to 14 and 24 excluding any category of expenses or payments which the Department of Finance and Personnel may direct, or any statutory provision may require, to be excluded from the Department’s estimates under this paragraph.

(2) Any sums paid to the Department in pursuance of Article 24 shall be paid—

(a)into the Consolidated Fund, to the extent that the Department estimates that those sums relate to payments out of money appropriated by Measure; and

(b)into the National Insurance Fund, to the extent that the Department estimates that they relate to payments out of that Fund.

(3) Any expenses of the Department in making payments under paragraph 4, 16 or 18 of Schedule 4 shall be paid—

(a)out of money appropriated by Measure, to the extent that the Department estimates that those payments relate to sums paid into the Consolidated Fund; and

(b)out of the National Insurance Fund, to the extent that the Department estimates that they relate to sums paid into that Fund.

(5) In this Article “the National Insurance Fund” means the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.

Regulations and orders: general provisions

30.  (1)  Subject to the following provisions of this Article, subsections (1) to (3A) of section 155 of the principal Act shall apply in relation to any power conferred by any provision of this Order to make regulations or an order as they apply in relation to any power conferred by that Act to make regulations or an order, but as if for references to that Act there were substituted references to this Order.

(2) Section 156(1) of the principal Act shall apply to—

(a)the first regulations made under section 17 of the principal Act by virtue of Article 12,

(b)the first regulations made by virtue of Article 14,

(c)the first regulations made under Article 21 of the 1986 Order by virtue of Article 15,

(d)the first regulations prescribing relevant benefits for the purposes of Article 24,

(e)the first regulations made under section 59B(7) of the principal Act (retirement allowance) by virtue of paragraph 8(6) of Schedule 1,

(f)the first regulations made under Article 4 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1988(33) (reduced earnings allowance, etc.) by virtue of paragraph 8(7) of Schedule 1,

(g)the first regulations made under paragraph 4 of Schedule 4,

(h)any regulations made under paragraph 21(2) of Schedule 4,

and any regulations contained in a statutory rule which includes any regulations to which the foregoing sub-paragraphs apply.

(3) All regulations and orders made under this Order, other than those to which paragraph (2) applies and orders under Article 1(2), shall be subject to negative resolution.

(4) Section 156(4) of the principal Act and Article 81(4) of the 1986 Order (regulations subject to negative resolution) shall not apply in relation to—

(a)any regulations to which sub-paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (e) of paragraph (2) applies; or

(b)any regulations contained in a statutory rule which includes any regulations to which sub-paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (e) of paragraph (2) applies.

(5) Any power to make—

(a)regulations prescribing relevant benefits for the purposes of Article 24, or

(b)regulations under paragraph 4 of Schedule 4,

shall be exercisable with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel.

(6) A power conferred by this Order to make any regulations or order, where the power is not expressed to be exercisable with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel, shall if the Department of Finance and Personnel so directs, be exercisable only in conjunction with it.

(7) Nothing in this Article applies to orders of the Occupational Pensions Board under Schedule 5.

Minor and consequential amendments, repeals and transitional provisions

31.  (1)  The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 8 shall have effect with the amendments there specified (being minor amendments and amendments consequential on provisions of this Order).

(2) The statutory provisions mentioned in Schedule 9 (which include some that are spent or of no further practical utility) are repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

(3) The Department may by regulations make—

(a)such transitional provision,

(b)such consequential provision, or

(c)such savings,

as it 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 repealed or amended by a provision of this Order during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in operation.

G. I. de Deney

Clerk of the Privy Council

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