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The Social Security (Incapacity for Work and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Amendment of the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (General) Regulations

4.—(1) The Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(1) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (12).

(2) In regulation 2(1) (interpretation)—

(a)in the definition of “doctor” at the end there shall be added “or, in the case of a medical practitioner practising outside the United Kingdom of whom the Department may request a medical opinion, a person registered or recognised as such in the country in which he pursues his medical practice”;

(b)after the definition of “doctor” there shall be inserted the following definition—

“medical evidence” means—

(a)

evidence from a doctor approved by the Department;

(b)

evidence (if any) from any other doctor or a hospital or similar institution,

or such part of such evidence as constitutes the most reliable evidence available in the circumstances;;

(c)after the definition of “the own occupation test” there shall be inserted the following definition—

“relative” means a close relative, a spouse or, in the case of an unmarried couple, the other member of that couple, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece;;

(d)the definition of “voluntary organisation” shall be omitted;

(e)for the definition of “volunteer” there shall be substituted the following definition—

“volunteer” means a person who is engaged in voluntary work, otherwise than for a close relative, where the only payment received by him or due to be paid to him by virtue of being so engaged is in respect of any expenses reasonably incurred by him in connection with that work;.

(3) In regulation 10(2)(e) (certain persons with a severe condition to be treated as incapable of work)—

(a)for “a doctor approved by the Department has certified that he is suffering from any of the following conditions” there shall be substituted “he is suffering from any of the following conditions, and there exists medical evidence that he is suffering from any of them”;

(b)in head (ii) for “and muscle” there shall be substituted “or muscle”;

(c)for head (viii) there shall be substituted the following head—

(viii)a severe mental illness, involving the presence of mental disease, which severely and adversely affects a person’s mood or behaviour, and which severely restricts his social functioning, or his awareness of his immediate environment..

(4) In regulation 16 (person who works to be treated as capable of work)—

(a)in paragraph (2) “close” shall be omitted;

(b)in paragraph (3)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (a) “in any spell of incapacity” shall be omitted and at the end there shall be added “in any period”;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (b) for “any spell of incapacity” there shall be substituted “any period in which he is incapable of work”.

(5) In regulation 18(1)(b) (disqualification for misconduct, etc.) for the words from “which could” to “therefrom or” there shall be substituted “recommended by a doctor with whom, or a hospital or similar institution with which, he is undergoing medical treatment and”.

(6) In regulation 25 (assessment under the all work test)—

(a)in paragraph (2) at the end there shall be added “or, as the case may be, any aid or appliance which he normally wears or uses”;

(b)after paragraph (2) there shall be added the following paragraph—

(3) In determining the extent of a person’s incapacity to perform any activity listed in Part I or Part II, it shall be a condition that the person’s incapacity arises—

(a)in respect of a disability listed in Part I, from a specific bodily disease or disablement; or

(b)in respect of a disability listed in Part II, from some specific mental illness or disablement..

(7) In regulation 26(1) (calculation of scores)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a) for the words “a score”, in the first place where they occur, there shall be substituted “an aggregate score”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (b)—

(i)for “a score” there shall be substituted “an aggregate score”;

(ii)for “any descriptors” there shall be substituted “the descriptors”.

(8) For regulation 27 (exceptional circumstances) there shall be substituted the following regulation—

27.(1) A person who does not satisfy the all work test shall be treated as incapable of work if any of the circumstances set out in paragraph (2) apply to him.

(2) The circumstances are that—

(a)he is suffering from a severe life threatening disease in relation to which—

(i)there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable, or uncontrolled, by a recognised therapeutic procedure, and

(ii)in the case of a disease which is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure;

(b)he suffers from a previously undiagnosed potentially life threatening condition which has been discovered during the course of a medical examination carried out for the purposes of the all work test by a doctor approved by the Department;

(c)there exists medical evidence that he requires a major surgical operation or other major therapeutic procedure and it is likely that that operation or procedure will be carried out within three months of the date of a medical examination carried out for the purposes of the all work test..

(9) In regulation 28(2)(b) (conditions for treating the all work test as satisfied until assessment) after “advantage” there shall be inserted “which is dependent on him being incapable of work”.

(10) In column (1) (activity) of Part I of the Schedule (physical disabilities which may make a person incapable of work)—

(a)in paragraph 8 at the end there shall be added “by use of upper body and arms (excluding all other activities specified in Part I)”;

(b)in paragraph 13 at the end there shall be added “(other than enuresis (bed-wetting))”;

(c)in paragraph 14 for “other than for normal periods of sleep” there shall be substituted “without having epileptic or similar seizures during waking moments”;

(11) In column (2) (descriptor) of Part I of the Schedule—

(a)in paragraph 3, at the end of sub-paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e), there shall be added “because the degree of discomfort makes it impossible to continue sitting”;

(b)in paragraph 6(b) and (c) for “bend or kneel” there shall be substituted “either, bend or kneel, or bend and kneel”;

(c)in paragraph 7—

(i)for sub-paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(b)Cannot turn a sink tap or the control knobs on a cooker with either hand.;

(ii)for sub-paragraph (f) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(f)Cannot turn a sink tap or the control knobs on a cooker with one hand, but can with the other.;

(iii)in sub-paragraph (g) after “hand” there shall be added “, but can with the other”;

(d)in paragraph 8 in sub-paragraphs (e) and (f) after “hand” there shall be added “, but can with the other”;

(e)in paragraph 9—

(i)in sub-paragraph (a) after “arm” there shall be inserted “as if”;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (b) after “head” there shall be inserted “as if”;

(iii)in sub-paragraph (c) after “back” there shall be inserted “as if”;

(iv)in sub-paragraph (d) after “head” there shall be inserted “as if”;

(v)for sub-paragraph (e) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(e)Cannot raise one arm to his head as if to put on a hat, but can with the other.;

(vi)for sub-paragraph (f) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(f)Cannot raise one arm above his head as if to reach for something, but can with the other.;

(f)in paragraph 12—

(i)in sub-paragraph (d) at the end there shall be added “at a distance of at least 5 metres”;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (e) at the end there shall be added “at a distance of at least 15 metres”;

(12) In paragraph 15, in column (2) (descriptor) of Part II of the Schedule (mental disabilities which may make a person incapable of work)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (c) after “radio” there shall be inserted “or television”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (g) for “mishaps or” there shall be substituted “potentially dangerous”.

(1)

S.R. 1995 No. 41; relevant amending regulations are S.R. 1995 No. 149

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