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The Housing Benefit (General) (Amendment No. 7) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

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Insertion of regulation 96A in the principal Regulations

5.  After regulation 96 of the principal Regulations (payment on death of the person entitled) there shall be inserted the following regulation—

Suspension of Benefit

96A.(1) Payment of housing benefit may be suspended by the appropriate authority making the payment where it appears to the authority that a question has arisen as to whether the conditions of entitlement to housing benefit are fulfilled.

(2) Where payment of housing benefit is suspended in accordance with paragraph (1), the appropriate authority shall require the claimant whose benefit is suspended to furnish such information in connection with that question as may be reasonable in the circumstances, and the claimant shall comply with that requirement within 4 weeks of being required to do so, or within such longer period as the appropriate authority considers reasonable in his case.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a claimant shall not be required to supply any information in relation to a payment to which regulation 73(3)(1) (payments from certain funds) applies.

(4) An appropriate authority shall, within 7 days of suspending benefit in accordance with paragraph (1), or as soon as may be reasonably practicable thereafter, notify the claimant of—

(a)its determination to suspend payment of housing benefit, and

(b)its requirements as to the provision of information.

(5) An appropriate authority to whom information is provided in accordance with this regulation may, after considering the information provided, require the claimant to provide such further information as is reasonable in the circumstances of the case, and where it does so, the same requirements and restrictions apply to the information required under this paragraph as applied to the information required under paragraph (2).

(6) Where paragraph (7) applies an appropriate authority shall, within 14 days of the date the last of the information required under this regulation is received or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, either—

(a)review the award of housing benefit to the claimant in accordance with regulation 79(1)(2) (review of determinations), or

(b)restore payment of housing benefit to the claimant including any payment which accrued during the period of suspension.

(7) This paragraph applies where—

(a)an appropriate authority requires a claimant to provide information in accordance with this regulation;

(b)that information has been provided, and

(c)the authority does not require further information from him in accordance with paragraph (5).

(8) In a case where a requirement to provide information has not been complied with within 4 weeks of its imposition or such longer period (not exceeding 13 weeks) as the appropriate authority considers appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case, the authority shall review the award of housing benefit and the review shall be treated for the purposes of this Part as if it had been made under regulation 79(1).

(9) For the purposes of paragraph (8) the period of 4 weeks, or such longer period as may be determined by the authority, shall begin on, and including, the day following the day on which the last or only requirement which has not been complied with was imposed.

(10) Where—

(a)payment of a claimant’s housing benefit is suspended;

(b)his benefit period comes to an end whilst the suspension is in force, and

(c)no further claim for housing benefit has been received by the appropriate authority before the end of the benefit period,

the appropriate authority shall invite the claimant to make a further claim for benefit and any claim made within 4 weeks of the end of the benefit period shall have effect immediately after the end of that benefit period.

(11) In this regulation information includes evidence, certificates and documents..

(1)

Paragraph (3) was added by regulation 8(b) of S.R. 1992 No. 141 and amended by regulation 4(6) of S.R. 1992 No. 201, regulation 10 of S.R. 1992 No. 404 and regulation 4(4) of S.R. 1993 No. 233

(2)

Paragraph (1) was amended by regulation 4(a) of S.R. 1991 No. 176 and regulation 2(a) of S.R. 1993 No. 218

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