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The Social Security (Back to Work Bonus) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Couples who separate where the partner has earnings

11.—(1) This regulation applies where—

(a)a person who is in receipt of a qualifying benefit other than a contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance has a partner;

(b)the partner has earnings, and

(c)he and the partner separate (“the separated partner”).

(2) From and including the date of separation, any part of the bonus which, in accordance with regulation 8(1)(b) (amount payable) accrued by virtue of the separated partner’s earnings shall, except to the extent specified in paragraph (4) or where paragraph (9) applies, accrue to that partner or in accordance with paragraph (8) (partners who form a new relationship) and not to the other member of the couple.

(3) The amount which shall accrue to the separated partner in accordance with paragraph (2) (“the accrued bonus”) shall be determined in accordance with the formula—

where—

  • A is the earnings received by the separated partner in that part of the bonus period which falls before the date of separation;

  • B is the total earnings received by both members of the couple in that part of the bonus period which falls before the date of separation, and

  • C is the amount of the bonus which would have been payable had it been payable on the day before the couple separated in respect of the earnings of both of them.

(4) In paragraph (3), no account shall be taken at A and B of the earnings of a partner which were taken into account for the purposes of a qualifying benefit before the person became a member of a couple; and the amount of the bonus payable in respect of those earnings shall continue to be determined in accordance with regulation 8.

(5) In the case of a separated partner who becomes entitled to a qualifying benefit within 12 weeks of the date of separation, any waiting period or any part of a waiting period served by the other member of the couple before the date of separation shall be treated also as the waiting period or, as the case may be, part of the waiting period, of the separated partner.

(6) In the case of a separated partner who does not become entitled to a qualifying benefit after the date of separation, the accrued bonus (if any) may be claimed by the separated partner whether or not he satisfies the work condition but only where—

(a)the claim is made within 12 weeks of the date of separation;

(b)within 14 days of the date of separation he commenced employment for, or increased the hours worked in employment to 16 or more hours per week, or increased his earnings from his employment, and

(c)had the person claimed a qualifying benefit for himself alone on the day following the date of separation, he would not have been entitled to it because—

(i)he worked more than 16 hours per week, or

(ii)his earnings from his employment would have exceeded the applicable amount in his case.

(7) A separated partner who qualifies for an accrued bonus by virtue of paragraph (6) shall not be required to serve the period of waiting days specified in regulation 6.

(8) Where the separated partner becomes the partner of another recipient (“the new partner”) of a qualifying benefit within 12 weeks of the date of separation, then the new partner shall have the same rights to the accrued bonus as the person who was formerly the partner would have had on the day before the separation had the bonus been payable on that day.

(9) Where the conditions for entitlement to a bonus, other than the need to make a claim, are fulfilled before the date of separation, but the claim for the bonus is made after the date of separation, the bonus shall be payable to the person entitled to the qualifying benefit before those conditions were fulfilled and no part of it shall be payable to the separated partner.

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