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The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations further amend the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987, the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996, the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987 (“the principal sets of Regulations”) and the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001.

Regulations 2(2) and (3)(b), 3(3) and (4)(b) and 4(2)(b) and (3) amend the principal sets of Regulations to provide that payments made in relation to the provision of support services under Article 4 of the Housing Support Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 shall be disregarded in the calculation of both income and capital.

Regulations 2(3)(a) and 3(4)(a) provide, in relation to income support and jobseeker’s allowance, for a capital disregard of the value of a dwelling, which the claimant has ceased to occupy following estrangement or divorce, where the dwelling is occupied as a home by the former partner who is a lone parent.

Regulation 3(2) makes minor amendments to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 which are a consequence of the change of the name of invalid care allowance to carer’s allowance.

Regulation 4(2)(a) amends the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987 to provide that where a claimant or the person who was the partner of the claimant on 31st March 2003 was entitled to income support or income based jobseeker’s allowance at that date but ceased to be so entitled by virtue only of regulation 12 of the Housing Benefit (General) (Amendment No. 3) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, the whole of their income is to be disregarded.

Regulation 5 amends the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 so as to clarify the policy intention in relation to limits on discretionary housing payments.

In so far as these Regulations are required, for the purposes of regulation 4, to be referred to the Social Security Advisory Committee under section 149(2) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”), after agreement by the Social Security Advisory Committee, they have not been so referred by virtue of section 150(1)(b) of that Act. Otherwise they make in relation to Northern Ireland only provision corresponding to provision contained in Regulations made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in relation to Great Britain and accordingly, by virtue of section 149(3) of, and paragraph 10 of Schedule 5 to, the 1992 Act, are not subject to the requirement of section 149(2) of that Act for prior reference to the Social Security Advisory Committee.

These Regulations do not impose any charge on business.

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