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The Social Security (1998 Order) (Commencement No. 6 and Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1999

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Amendment of the Child Support (Arrears, Interest and Adjustment of Maintenance Assessments) Regulations

10.—(1) The Child Support (Arrears, Interest and Adjustment of Maintenance Assessments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(1) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (6).

(2) In regulation 3 (liability to make payments of interest with respect to arrears)—

(a)in paragraph (4) for “following a review under Article 18, 19, 20 or 21 of the Order or” there shall be substituted “by virtue of a revision under Article 18 of the Order, a decision under Article 19 of the Order superseding an earlier decision or of”;

(b)in paragraph (5) for “following a review under Article 18, 19, 20 or 21 of the Order or” there shall be substituted “made by virtue of a revision under Article 18 of the Order, a decision under Article 19 of the Order superseding an earlier decision or of”; and

(c)in paragraph (6) for “the review under Article 18, 19, 20 or 21 of the Order or an appeal under Article 22 of the Order results in” there shall be substituted “by virtue of a revision under Article 18 of the Order, a decision under Article 19 of the Order superseding an earlier decision or of an appeal under Article 22 of the Order there is”.

(3) In regulation 4(2)(b) (circumstances in which no liability to pay interest arises) “or a child support officer” shall be omitted.

(4) In regulation 10(2) (adjustment of the amount payable under a maintenance assessment)—

(a)subject to sub-paragraph (c), in paragraphs (1) to (3) for “a child support officer” in each place where it occurs there shall be substituted “the Department”;

(b)in paragraph (1)(b) for “he” there shall be substituted “it”;

(c)in paragraph (2) for the words from “revised as a result” to “and a fresh maintenance assessment made” there shall be substituted “replaced by a fresh maintenance assessment made by virtue of a revision under Article 18 of the Order or a decision under Article 19 of the Order superseding an earlier decision”; and

(d)in paragraph (3) for “he” in each place where it occurs there shall be substituted “it”.

(5) In regulation 11 (notifications following a cancellation or adjustment under the provisions of regulation 10)—

(a)in paragraph (1)(3) for “a child support officer” there shall be substituted “the Department” and for “he” there shall be substituted “it”; and

(b)in paragraph (2) for the words from “of regulation 12(1)” to the end there shall be substituted “of regulations 12 to 15”.

(6) For regulations 12 to 15(4) there shall be substituted the following regulations—

Extension of the application of Schedule 4C to the Order

12.  Schedule 4C to the Order is hereby extended so that it applies to any decision with respect to the adjustment of amounts payable under maintenance assessments for the purpose of taking account of overpayments of child support maintenance.

Revision of decisions

13.(1) A decision may be revised by the Department—

(a)if the Department receives an application for the revision of a decision under Article 18 of the Order as extended by regulation 12 within one month of the date of notification of the decision or within such longer time as may be allowed by regulation 14;

(b)if the decision arose from an official error;

(c)if the Department commences action leading to the revision of a decision within one month of the date of notification of the decision; or

(d)if the Department is satisfied that the original decision was erroneous due to a misrepresentation of, or failure to disclose, a material fact and that the decision was more advantageous to the person who misrepresented or failed to disclose that fact than it would otherwise have been but for that error.

(2) In paragraph (1)—

  • “decision” means a decision of the Department—

    (a)

    adjusting the amount payable under a maintenance assessment; or

    (b)

    cancelling an adjustment of an amount payable under a maintenance assessment,

    under regulation 10 and a decision superseding such a decision;

  • “official error” means an error made by an officer of the Department acting as such which no person outside the Department caused or to which no person outside the Department materially contributed.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply in respect of a change of circumstances which occurred since the date on which the decision took effect.

Late application for a revision

14.(1) The period of one month specified in regulation 13(1)(a) may be extended where the requirements specified in the following provisions of this regulation are satisfied.

(2) An application for an extension of time shall be made by a relevant person or a person acting on his behalf.

(3) An application for an extension of time shall—

(a)be made within 13 months of the date on which notification of the decision which it is sought to have revised was given or sent; and

(b)contain particulars of the grounds on which the extension of time is sought and shall contain sufficient details of the decision which it is sought to have revised to enable that decision to be identified.

(4) An application for an extension of time shall not be granted unless the person making the application or any person acting for him satisfies the Department that—

(a)it is reasonable to grant the application;

(b)the application for a decision to be revised has merit; and

(c)special circumstances are relevant to the application for an extension of time,

and as a result of those special circumstances, it was not practicable for the application for a decision to be revised to be made within one month of the date of notification of the decision which it is sought to have revised.

(5) In determining whether it is reasonable to grant an application for an extension of time, the Department shall have regard to the principle that the greater the time that has elapsed between the expiry of the period of one month described in regulation 13(1)(a) from the date of notification of the decision which it is sought to have revised and the making of the application for an extension of time, the more compelling should be the special circumstances on which the application is based.

(6) In determining whether it is reasonable to grant an application for an extension of time, no account shall be taken of the following—

(a)that the person making the application for an extension of time or any person acting for him was unaware of or misunderstood the law applicable to his case (including ignorance or misunderstanding of the time limits imposed by these Regulations); or

(b)that a Child Support Commissioner or a court has taken a different view of the law from that previously understood and applied.

(7) An application under this regulation for an extension of time which has been refused may not be renewed.

(8) In this regulation “Child Support Commissioner” includes a Child Support Commissioner appointed under section 22 of the Child Support Act 1991(5).

Date from which revised decision takes effect

15.  Where the date from which a decision took effect is found to be erroneous on a revision under Article 18 of the Order as extended by regulation 12, the revision shall take effect from the date on which the revised decision would have taken effect had the error not been made.

Supersession of decisions

16.(1) For the purposes of Article 19 of the Order as extended by regulation 12, the cases and circumstances in which a decision adjusting the amount payable under a maintenance assessment may be superseded by a decision under that Article as extended are set out in paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) A decision may be superseded by a decision made by the Department acting on its own initiative where it is satisfied that the decision—

(a)is one in respect of which there has been a material change of circumstances since the decision was made; or

(b)was made in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to, some material fact.

(3) A decision may be superseded by a decision made by the Department where an application is made on the basis that—

(a)there has been a change of circumstances since the decision was made and the Department is satisfied that the change of circumstances is or would be material; or

(b)the decision was made in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to, a fact and the Department is satisfied that the fact is or would be material.

(4) A decision, other than a decision made on appeal, may be superseded by a decision made by the Department—

(a)acting on its own initiative where it is satisfied that the decision was erroneous in point of law; or

(b)where an application is made on the basis that the decision was erroneous in point of law.

(5) The cases and circumstances in which a decision may be superseded under Article 19 of the Order as extended by regulation 12 shall not include any case or circumstance in which a decision may be revised.

Application of regulations 1(6), 10(3) and 53 of the Maintenance Assessment Procedure Regulations

17.(1) The provisions of regulation 10(3) of the Maintenance Assessment Procedure Regulations shall apply to any notification—

(a)under regulation 11; and

(b)of a decision under the provisions of regulation 13, 14 or 16.

(2) Regulations 1(6) and 53 of the Maintenance Assessment Procedure Regulations shall apply to the provisions of these Regulations..

(2)

Regulation 10 was substituted by regulation 3(3) of S.R. 1995 No. 162 and amended by S.R. 1996 No. 541 and S.R. 1998 No. 400

(3)

Paragraph (1) was substituted by regulation 3(4)(b) of S.R. 1995 No. 162

(4)

Regulation 12 was substituted by regulation 3(5) of S.R. 1995 No. 162 and amended by S.R. 1995 No. 475 and regulation 13 was amended by S.R. 1993 No. 164 and S.R. 1995 Nos. 162 and 475

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