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The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

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Changes over time for: Cross Heading: Amendments, etc. of the Contributions and Benefits Act

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Changes to legislation:

The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, Cross Heading: Amendments, etc. of the Contributions and Benefits Act is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 17 October 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Part IV Crossheading Amendments-etc-of-the-contributions-and-benefits-act:

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Order (including any effects on those provisions):

Amendments, etc. of the Contributions and Benefits ActF3N.I.

F3functions transf. by SR 1999/481

Non-textual amendments applied to the whole Legislation can be found in the Introduction

Daily rate of maternity allowanceN.I.

63.  In subsection (5) of section 35 of the Contributions and Benefits Act (state maternity allowance), for paragraphs (a) and (b) there shall be substituted the words “the amount payable by way of that allowance for any day shall be taken as one seventh of the weekly rate of the allowance.”.

Commencement Information

I1Art. 63 partly in force; art. 63 not in force at date of making see art. 1(2); art. 63 in force for certain purposes at 1.10.2006 by S.R. 2006/360, art. 2

Rates of short-term incapacity benefitN.I.

64.  For subsection (4) of section 44 of the Contributions and Benefits Act (Category A retirement pension) there shall be substituted the following subsection—

(4) The weekly rate of the basic pension shall be £64.70 except that, so far as the sum is relevant for the purpose of calculating the lower rate of short-term incapacity benefit under section 30B(3) above, it shall be £62.05.

In this subsection “the lower rate” means the rate payable for the first 196 days of entitlement in any period of incapacity for work. .

Validation of certain housing benefit determinationsN.I.

65.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), in so far as a housing benefit determination made before 18th August 1997 purported to determine that housing benefit was payable in respect of—

(a)charges for medical care, nursing care or personal care; or

(b)charges for general counselling or any other support services,

it shall be deemed to have been validly made if, on the assumption mentioned in paragraph (2), it would have been so made.

(2) The assumption is that, at all material times, such charges as are mentioned in paragraph (1) were eligible to be met by housing benefit where the claimant's right to occupy the dwelling was conditional on his payment of the charges.

(3) Where the effect of a review carried out on or after 18th August 1997 was to revise the amount of housing benefit payable in respect of any validated charges—

(a)the revision shall be deemed not to have been validly made in so far as it had the effect of increasing that amount; and

(b)housing benefit shall cease to be payable in respect of those charges as from the beginning of the period for which the first payment of the revised amount of benefit was made.

(4) Housing benefit shall not be payable in respect of any validated charges for any period falling after—

(a)5th April 1998 where the rent is payable at intervals of a whole number of weeks; and

(b)31st March 1998 in any other case.

(5) In this Article—

  • “the dwelling”, in relation to a housing benefit determination, means the dwelling in respect of which the determination was made;

  • “housing benefit determination” means a determination under section 129 of the Contributions and Benefits Act or the corresponding provisions of the [1986 NI 18.] Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, or a decision on a review of such a determination;

  • “medical care” includes treatment or counselling related to mental disorder, mental handicap, physical disablement or past or present alcohol or drug dependence;

  • “personal care” includes assistance at meal-times or with personal appearance or hygiene;

  • “validated charges” means charges in respect of which housing benefit is payable only by virtue of paragraph (1).

Discretionary payments out of the social fundN.I.

66.—(1) For subsection (1) of section 134 of the Contributions and Benefits Act (payments out of the social fund) there shall be substituted the following subsection—

(1) There may be made out of the social fund, in accordance with this Part of this Act—

(a)payments of prescribed amounts, whether in respect of prescribed items or otherwise, to meet, in prescribed circumstances, maternity expenses and funeral expenses; and

(b)payments by way of community care grant, crisis loan or budgeting loan to meet other needs in accordance with directions given or guidance issued by the Department. .

(2) After subsection (4) of that section there shall be added the following subsection—

(5) In this Part—

  • “budgeting loan” means a loan awarded in circumstances specified in directions issued by the Department for the purpose of defraying an intermittent expense;

  • “community care grant” means a grant awarded in circumstances so specified for the purpose of meeting a need for community care;

  • “crisis loan” means a loan awarded in circumstances so specified for the purpose of meeting an immediate short term need,

and any reference in this subsection to meeting a need or defraying an expense includes a reference to helping to meet the need or to defray the expense. .

Budgeting loans: criteria for making awardsN.I.

67.—(1) In subsection (1) of section 136 of the Contributions and Benefits Act (principles of determination), after the word “award” there shall be inserted the words “of a community care grant or a crisis loan”.

(2) After that subsection there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(1A) Subject to subsection (2) below, in determining whether to make an award of a budgeting loan to the applicant, or the amount or value to be awarded, an appropriate officer shall have regard to—

(a)such of the applicant's personal circumstances as are of a description specified in directions issued by the Department; and

(b)the criteria specified in paragraphs (b) to (e) of subsection (1) above,

but where the criterion mentioned in paragraph (a) above would preclude the award of such a loan, the appropriate officer shall have regard instead to such other criterion as may be specified in directions so issued. .

(3) In subsection (4) of that section, paragraph (e) shall cease to have effect and after paragraph (a) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(aa)that in circumstances specified in the direction an application for an award of a community care grant may be treated as an application for an award of a crisis loan, and vice versa; .

Power to reduce child benefit for lone parentsN.I.

68 .F1—(1) Regulations may revoke any provision of regulations which prescribes a higher rate of child benefit in the case of a lone parent, notwithstanding anything in section 141(4) of the Contributions and Benefits Act (which precludes regulations from prescribing a rate lower than the rate it replaces).

(2) In this Article “lone parent” means a parent who—

(a)has no spouse[F2 or civil partner] or is not living with his spouse[F2 or civil partner]; and

(b)is not living with any other person as his spouse[F2 or civil partner].

[F2(3) For the purpose of this Article, a parent is to be regarded as living with another person as his civil partner if, but only if, he would be regarded as living with the other person as his spouse, were they instead two people of the opposite sex.]

F1prosp. in pt. functions transf. by 2002 c. 21

Statutory sick pay not precluded by maternity allowanceN.I.

69.  In paragraph 2(d) of Schedule 11 to the Contributions and Benefits Act (circumstances in which periods of entitlement to statutory sick pay do not arise), the words “(ii) she was entitled to a maternity allowance; or” shall cease to have effect.

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