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The Social Security Benefits (Maintenance Payments and Consequential Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

1996 No. 202

SOCIAL SECURITY

The Social Security Benefits (Maintenance Payments and Consequential Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

Made

16th May 1996

Coming into operation

1st July 1996

The Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 72A(5) and (6) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(1) and section 132(4)(b) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(2) and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Social Security Benefits (Maintenance Payments and Consequential Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and shall come into operation on 1st July 1996.

(2) In these Regulations—

“the Act” means the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

“the Income Support Regulations” means the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(3);

“the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations” means the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(4).

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(5) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Interpretation for the purposes of section 72A of the Act

2.  In section 72A of the Act (payment of benefit where maintenance payments collected by Department)—

(a)“child maintenance” means any payment towards the maintenance of a child or young person, including payments made—

(i)under a court order;

(ii)under a maintenance assessment made under the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991(6);

(iii)under an agreement for maintenance, or

(iv)voluntarily,

and for this purpose a “young person” is a person referred to in regulation 3 (persons of a prescribed description);

(b)“spousal maintenance” means any payment made by a person towards the maintenance of that person’s spouse, including payments made—

(i)under a court order;

(ii)under an agreement for maintenance, or

(iii)voluntarily;

(c)“relevant income” means—

(i)any income which is taken into account under Part V of the Income Support Regulations for the purposes of calculating the amount of income support to which the claimant is entitled, or

(ii)any income which is taken into account under Part VIII of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations for the purposes of calculating the amount of jobseeker’s allowance to which the claimant is entitled.

Persons of a prescribed description

3.  For the purposes of the definition of “family” in section 72A(5) of the Act, a person of a prescribed description is any person who—

(a)is referred to as a “young person” in the Income Support Regulations by virtue of regulation 14 of those Regulations(7); or

(b)is referred to as a “young person” in the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations by virtue of regulation 76 of those Regulations.

Circumstances in which a person is to be treated as responsible for another

4.  A person shall be treated as responsible for another for the purposes of section 72A of the Act if he is treated as responsible for that other person under either regulation 15 of the Income Support Regulations(8) or regulation 77 of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations.

Circumstances in which persons are to be treated as being members of the same household

5.  Persons shall be treated as members of the same household for the purposes of section 72A of the Act if they are treated as members of the same household under either regulation 16 of the Income Support Regulations(9) or regulation 78 of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations.

Amendment of the Income Support Regulations

6.—(1) The Income Support Regulations shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) In regulation 55 (treatment of liable relative payments) at the beginning there shall be inserted “Subject to regulation 55A and”.

(3) After regulation 55 there shall be inserted the following regulation—

Disregard of payments treated as not relevant income

55A.  Where the Department treats any payment as not being relevant income for the purposes of section 72A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (payment of benefit where maintenance payments collected by Department), that payment shall be disregarded in calculating a claimant’s income..

(4) In regulation 60B (treatment of child support maintenance)(10) at the beginning there shall be inserted “Subject to regulation 60E,”.

(5) After regulation 60D there shall be inserted the following regulation—

Disregard of payments treated as not relevant income

60E.  Where the Department treats any payment of child support maintenance as not being relevant income for the purposes of section 72A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (payment of benefit where maintenance payments collected by Department), that payment shall be disregarded in calculating a claimant’s income..

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland on .

L.S.

Leslie Frew

Assistant Secretary

16th May 1996

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations provide that where the Department of Health and Social Services (“the Department”) is collecting maintenance payments on behalf of a person who is claiming certain social security benefits, the Department may disregard those maintenance payments for the purposes of calculating the claimant’s benefit entitlement, and may then retain any such maintenance payments collected by it.

These Regulations provide definitions of certain terms for the purposes of section 72A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (c. 8) and make consequential amendments to the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987.

These Regulations make in relation to Northern Ireland only provision corresponding to provision contained in Regulations made by the Secretary of State for Social Security in relation to Great Britain and accordingly, by virtue of Section 149(3) of, and paragraph 10 of Schedule 5 to, the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, are not subject to the requirement of Section 149(2) of that Act for prior reference to the Social Security Advisory Committee.

(1)

1992 c. 8; section 72A was inserted by Article 18 of the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/2702 (N.I. 13))

(7)

Regulation 14 was amended by S.R. 1990 No. 131

(8)

Regulation 15 was amended by S.R. 1993 No. 373

(9)

Regulation 16 was amended by S.R. 1988 No. 146, S.R. 1989 No. 139, S.R. 1990 Nos. 131 and 387 and S.R. 1993 Nos. 149 and 373

(10)

Regulations 60A to 60D were inserted by regulation 4 of S.R. 1993 No. 167

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