Search Legislation

The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

CHAPTER 1Entitlement and awards

Introductory

Universal credit

6.—(1) A benefit known as universal credit is payable in accordance with this Part.

(2) Universal credit may, subject as follows, be awarded to—

(a)an individual who is not a member of a couple (a “single person”), or

(b)members of a couple jointly.

(3) An award of universal credit is, subject as follows, calculated by reference to—

(a)a standard allowance,

(b)an amount for responsibility for children or young persons,

(c)an amount for housing, and

(d)amounts for other particular needs or circumstances.

Claims

7.—(1) A claim may be made for universal credit by—

(a)a single person, or

(b)members of a couple jointly.

(2) Regulations may specify circumstances in which a member of a couple may make a claim as a single person.

Entitlement

Entitlement

8.—(1) A single claimant is entitled to universal credit if the claimant meets—

(a)the basic conditions, and

(b)the financial conditions for a single claimant.

(2) Joint claimants are jointly entitled to universal credit if—

(a)each of them meets the basic conditions, and

(b)they meet the financial conditions for joint claimants.

Basic conditions

9.—(1) For the purposes of Article 8, a person meets the basic conditions who—

(a)is at least 18 years old,

(b)has not reached the qualifying age for state pension credit,

(c)is in Northern Ireland,

(d)is not receiving education, and

(e)has accepted a claimant commitment.

(2) Regulations may provide for exceptions to the requirement to meet any of the basic conditions (and, for joint claimants, may provide for an exception for one or both).

(3) For the basic condition in paragraph (1)(a) regulations may specify a different minimum age for prescribed cases.

(4) For the basic condition in paragraph (1)(b) the qualifying age for state pension credit is that referred to in section 1(6) of the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002.

(5) For the basic condition in paragraph (1)(c) regulations may—

(a)specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as being or not being in Northern Ireland;

(b)specify circumstances in which temporary absence from Northern Ireland is disregarded;

(c)modify the application of this Part in relation to a person not in Northern Ireland who is by virtue of sub-paragraph (b) entitled to universal credit.

(6) For the basic condition in paragraph (1)(d) regulations may—

(a)specify what “receiving education” means;

(b)specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as receiving or not receiving education.

(7) For the basic condition in paragraph (1)(e) regulations may specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as having accepted or not accepted a claimant commitment.

Financial conditions

10.—(1) For the purposes of Article 8, the financial conditions for a single claimant are that—

(a)the claimant’s capital, or a prescribed part of it, is not greater than a prescribed amount, and

(b)the claimant’s income is such that, if the claimant were entitled to universal credit, the amount payable would not be less than any prescribed minimum.

(2) For those purposes, the financial conditions for joint claimants are that—

(a)their combined capital, or a prescribed part of it, is not greater than a prescribed amount, and

(b)their combined income is such that, if they were entitled to universal credit, the amount payable would not be less than any prescribed minimum.

Restrictions on entitlement

11.—(1) Entitlement to universal credit does not arise—

(a)in prescribed circumstances (even though the requirements in Article 8 are met);

(b)if the requirements in Article 8 are met for a period shorter than a prescribed period;

(c)for a prescribed period at the beginning of a period during which those requirements are met.

(2) A period prescribed under paragraph (1)(b) or (c) may not exceed 7 days.

(3) Regulations may provide for exceptions to paragraph (1)(b) or (c).

Awards

Basis of awards

12.—(1) Universal credit is payable in respect of each complete assessment period within a period of entitlement.

(2) In this Part an “assessment period” is a period of a prescribed duration.

(3) Regulations may make provision—

(a)about when an assessment period is to start;

(b)for universal credit to be payable in respect of a period shorter than an assessment period;

(c)about the amount payable in respect of a period shorter than an assessment period.

(4) In paragraph (1) “period of entitlement” means a period during which entitlement to universal credit subsists.

Calculation of awards

13.—(1) The amount of an award of universal credit is to be the balance of—

(a)the maximum amount (see paragraph (2)), less

(b)the amounts to be deducted (see paragraph (3)).

(2) The maximum amount is the total of—

(a)any amount included under Article 14 (standard allowance),

(b)any amount included under Article 15 (responsibility for children and young persons),

(c)any amount included under Article 16 (housing costs), and

(d)any amount included under Article 17 (other particular needs or circumstances).

(3) The amounts to be deducted are—

(a)an amount in respect of earned income calculated in the prescribed manner (which may include multiplying some or all earned income by a prescribed percentage), and

(b)an amount in respect of unearned income calculated in the prescribed manner (which may include multiplying some or all unearned income by a prescribed percentage).

(4) In paragraph (3)(a) and (b) the references to income are—

(a)in the case of a single claimant, to income of the claimant, and

(b)in the case of joint claimants, to combined income of the claimants.

Elements of an award

Standard allowance

14.—(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount by way of an allowance for—

(a)a single claimant, or

(b)joint claimants.

(2) Regulations are to specify the amount to be included under paragraph (1).

(3) Regulations may provide for exceptions to paragraph (1).

Responsibility for children and young persons

15.—(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount for each child or qualifying young person for whom a claimant is responsible.

(2) Regulations may make provision for the inclusion of an additional amount if such a child or qualifying young person is disabled.

(3) Regulations are to specify, or provide for the calculation of, amounts to be included under paragraph (1) or (2).

(4) Regulations may provide for exceptions to paragraph (1).

(5) In this Part, “qualifying young person” means a person of a prescribed description.

Housing costs

16.—(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount in respect of any liability of a claimant to make payments in respect of the accommodation the claimant occupies as his or her home.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)—

(a)the accommodation must be in Northern Ireland;

(b)the accommodation must be residential accommodation;

(c)it is immaterial whether the accommodation consists of the whole or part of a building and whether or not it comprises separate and self-contained premises.

(3) Regulations may make provision as to—

(a)what is meant by payments in respect of accommodation for the purposes of this Article (and, in particular, the extent to which such payments include mortgage payments);

(b)circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as liable or not liable to make such payments;

(c)circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as occupying or not occupying accommodation as his or her home (and, in particular, for temporary absences to be disregarded);

(d)circumstances in which land used for the purposes of any accommodation is to be treated as included in the accommodation.

(4) Regulations are to provide for the determination or calculation of any amount to be included under this Article.

(5) Regulations may—

(a)provide for exceptions to paragraph (1);

(b)provide for inclusion of an amount under this Article in the calculation of an award of universal credit—

(i)to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii)not to start until a prescribed time.

Other particular needs or circumstances

17.—(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include amounts in respect of such particular needs or circumstances of a claimant as may be prescribed.

(2) The needs or circumstances prescribed under paragraph (1) may include—

(a)the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work;

(b)the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work and work-related activity;

(c)the fact that a claimant has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person.

(3) Regulations are to specify, or provide for the determination or calculation of, any amount to be included under paragraph (1).

(4) Regulations may—

(a)provide for inclusion of an amount under this Article in the calculation of an award of universal credit—

(i)to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii)not to start until a prescribed time;

(b)provide for the manner in which a claimant’s needs or circumstances are to be determined.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Order as a PDF

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Memorandum

Explanatory Memorandum sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Northern Ireland Order in Council and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. They aim to make the Order accessible to readers who are not legally qualified and accompany any Northern Ireland Order in Council made since 2002.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources