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The State Pension Credit (Consequential, Transitional and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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PART IVAMENDMENTS TO THE STATE PENSION CREDIT REGULATIONS

Amendment of the State Pension Credit Regulations

23.—(1) The State Pension Credit Regulations shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2 ) to (10) –

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) –

(a)for the definition of “nursing home” there shall be substituted the following definition –

“nursing home” has the meaning it has for the purposes of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003(1) by virtue of Article 11 of that Order;.

(b)for the definition of “residential care home” there shall be substituted the following definition –

“ residential care home” has the meaning it has for the purposes of the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 by virtue of Article 10 of that Order;.

(3) After regulation 13 (small amounts of state pension credit) there shall be inserted the following regulations –

Part-weeks

13A.(1) The guarantee credit shall be payable for a period of less than a week (“a part-week”) at the rate specified in paragraph (3) if –

(a)the claimant or his partner was entitled to income support or an income-based jobseeker’s allowance immediately before the first day on which the conditions for entitlement to the credit are satisfied, and

(b)the claimant’s entitlement to the credit is likely to continue throughout the first full benefit week which follows the part-week.

(2) For the purpose of determining the amount of the guarantee credit payable in respect of the part-week, no regard shall be had to any income of the claimant and his partner.

(3) The amount of the guarantee credit payable in respect of the part-week shall be determined –

(a) by dividing by 7 the weekly amount of the guarantee credit which, taking into account the requirements of paragraph (2), would be payable in respect of a full week, and then

(b)multiplying the resulting figure by the number of days in the part-week, any fraction of a penny being rounded up to the nearest penny.

Date on which benefits are treated as paid

13B.(1) The following benefits shall be treated as paid on the day of the week in respect of which the benefit is payable –

(a)severe disablement allowance;

(b)incapacity benefit;

(c)maternity allowance;

(d)contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance within the meaning of Article 3(4) of the Jobseeker’s (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(2);

(2) All benefits except those mentioned in paragraph (1) shall be treated as paid on the first day of the benefit week in which the benefit is payable..

(4) In regulation 17 after paragraph (9) there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

(9A) For the purposes of paragraph (9)(b), and for that purpose only, the amounts specified in paragraph (5) shall be treated as though they were earnings.;

(5) After regulation 24 (income paid to third parties) there shall be inserted the following regulation –

Rounding of fractions

24A.  Where any calculation under this Part results in a fraction of a penny that fraction shall, if it would be to the claimant’s advantage, be treated as a penny, otherwise it shall be disregarded.;

(6) In Part II of Schedule 1 (amount applicable for former claimants of income support or income-related jobseeker’s allowance) in paragraph 6 after sub-paragraph (9), there shall be added the following sub-paragraphs –

(10) This sub-paragraph applies where the relevant amount included an amount in respect of housing costs relating to a loan –

(a)which is treated as a qualifying loan by virtue of regulation 4 of the Income Support (General) (Amendment and Transitional) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(3) or paragraph 18(2) of Schedule 2 to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations, or

(b)the appropriate amount of which was determined in accordance with paragraph 7(6C) of Schedule 3 to the Income Support Regulations(4) as in operation prior to 10th April 1995 and maintained in operation by regulation 3(1) of the Income-Related Benefits (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(5).

(11) Where sub-paragraph (10) applies, the transitional amount shall be calculated or, as the case may be, recalculated, on the relevant anniversary date determined in accordance with paragraph 7(4C) of Schedule 2 (“the relevant anniversary date”) on the basis that the provisional amount on the relevant day included, in respect of housing costs, the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph 7(1) of that Schedule as applying from the relevant anniversary date and not the amount in respect of housing costs determined on the basis of the amount of the loan calculated in accordance with paragraph 7(4A) of that Schedule.

(12) The transitional amount as calculated in accordance with sub-paragraph (11) shall only be applicable from the relevant anniversary date..

(7) In Schedule 2 (housing costs) –

(a)in paragraph 5 (housing costs not met), after sub-paragraph (1) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph –

(1A) In paragraph (1), “housing benefit expenditure” means expenditure in respect of which housing benefit is payable as specified in regulation 10(1) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(6) but does not include any such expenditure in respect of which an additional amount is applicable under regulation 6(6)(c) (housing costs).;

(b)in paragraph 7 (the calculation of loans) –

(i)for sub-paragraph (2) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph –

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4A), the amount of the qualifying loan –

(a)except where head (b) applies, shall be determined on the date the housing costs are first met and thereafter on the anniversary of that date;

(b)where housing costs are being met in respect of a qualifying loan (“the existing loan”) and housing costs are subsequently met in respect of one or more further qualifying loans (“the new loan”), shall be the total amount of those loans determined on the date the housing costs were first met in respect of the new loan and thereafter on the anniversary of the date housing costs were first met in respect of the existing loan.;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (3)(ii), for “sub-paragraph (2), housing costs were first met” there shall be substituted “sub-paragraph (4C)”;

(iii)after sub-paragraph (4) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraphs –

(4A) Where –

(a)the last day on which either the claimant or his partner were entitled to income support or to an income-based jobseeker’s allowance was no more than 12 weeks before –

(i)except where sub-head (ii) applies, the first day of entitlement to state pension credit, or

(ii)where the claim for state pension credit was treated as made on a day earlier than the day on which it was actually made (“the actual date”), the day which would have been the first day of entitlement to state pension credit had the claim been treated as made on the actual date, and

(b)sub-paragraph (4B) applies,

the amount of the qualifying loan shall be the amount last determined for the purposes of the earlier entitlement and recalculated on the relevant date specified in sub-paragraph (4C).

(4B) This sub-paragraph applies –

(a)where the earlier entitlement was to income support, if their applicable amount included an amount determined in accordance with Schedule 3 to the Income Support Regulations as applicable to them in respect of a loan which qualifies under paragraph 15 or 16 of that Schedule, or

(b)where the earlier entitlement was to an income-based jobseeker’s allowance, if their applicable amount included an amount determined in accordance with Schedule 2 to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations as applicable to them in respect of a loan which qualifies under paragraph 14 or 15 of that Schedule, and

where the circumstances affecting the calculation of the qualifying loan remain unchanged since the last calculation of that loan and in this paragraph, “qualifying loan” shall, where the context requires, be construed accordingly.

(4C) The recalculation shall take place –

(a)in a case where sub-paragraph (3) applies, on each subsequent anniversary of the date on which, for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2), housing costs were met;

(b)in a case where sub-paragraph (4A) applies –

(i)where housing costs under the earlier entitlement were being met in respect of more than one qualifying loan and the amounts of those loans were recalculated on different dates, on the first of those dates which falls during the award of state pension credit and on each subsequent anniversary of that date;

(ii)in any other case, on each subsequent anniversary of the date on which housing costs were first met under the earlier entitlement;

(c)in the case of claims for state pension credit made between 6th October 2003 and 5th October 2004 and to which sub-paragraph (4A) does not apply –

(i)where there are no housing costs to be met as at the date of claim but housing costs are to be met in respect of a qualifying loan taken out after the date of claim, on each subsequent anniversary of the date on which housing costs in respect of that loan were first met;

(ii)in any other case, on each subsequent anniversary of the date on which the decision was made to award state pension credit.;

(c)in paragraph 14(7) (persons residing with the claimant) after head (c) there shall be inserted the following head –

(cc)if he is a full-time student and the claimant or his partner has attained the age of 65;.

(8) In Schedule 4 (amounts to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings) –

(a)after paragraph 7 there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

7A.  £10 of any widowed mother’s allowance to which the claimant is entitled under section 37 of the Contributions and Benefits Act.;

(b)in paragraph 11(3)(b), after “paragraph 7” there shall be inserted “or 7A”.

(9) In Schedule 5 (income from capital), in Part I –

(a)after paragraph 9 there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

9A.  The assets of any business owned in whole or in part by the claimant if –

(a)he is not engaged as a self-employed earner in that business by reason of some disease or bodily or mental disablement, but

(b)he intends to become engaged (or as the case may be, re-engaged) as a self-employed earner in that business as soon as he recovers or is able to become engaged, or re-engaged, in that business,

for a period of 26 weeks from the date on which the claim for state pension credit is made or, if it is reasonable to expect him to become engaged or re-engaged in that business within that period, for such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances to enable him to become so engaged or re-engaged.;

(b)after paragraph 20 there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

20A.(1) Any payment of £5,000 or more received by the claimant in full –

(a)no more than 12 months before the day on which he claimed state pension credit, or

(b)after the day on which he claimed state pension credit,

which is made in order to rectify, or to compensate for, an official error as defined in regulation 1(2) of the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999(7) relating to a benefit, either for a period of 52 weeks from the date of receipt, or, if the payment is received in its entirety during the award of state pension credit, for the remainder of that award if that is a longer period.

(2) In this paragraph, “benefit” shall have the same meaning as for the purposes of paragraph 20..

(c)after paragraph 23 there shall be added the following paragraph –

24.  Where an ex-gratia payment has been made by the Secretary of State to members of the families of the disappeared, but only for a period of 52 weeks from the date of receipt of that payment..

(10) In Schedule 6 (sums disregarded from claimant’s earnings) –

(a)after paragraph 2 there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

2A.  Where a person is engaged in one or more of the employments specified in paragraph 2 but his earnings derived from those employments are less than £20 in any week and he is also engaged in any other part-time employment, so much of his earnings from that other employment as would not in aggregate with the amount of his earnings disregarded under paragraph 2 exceed £20.;

(b)after paragraph 4 there shall be inserted the following paragraph –

4A.(1) £20 is the maximum amount which may be disregarded under any of paragraphs 1, 2, 3 or 4 notwithstanding that –

(a)in the case of a claimant with no partner, he satisfies the requirements of more than one of those paragraphs or, in the case of paragraph 4, he satisfies the requirements of more than one of the sub-paragraphs of that paragraph, or

(b)in the case of married or unmarried couples, both partners satisfy one or more of the requirements of paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.

(2) Where, in a case to which sub-paragraph (1)(b) applies, the amount to be disregarded in respect of one of the partners (“the first partner”) is less than £20, the amount to be disregarded in respect of the other partner shall be so much of that other partner’s earnings as would not, in aggregate with the first partner’s earnings, exceed £20..

(4)

Paragraph 7(6C) was inserted by regulation 3 of S.R. 1993 No. 311

(7)

Definition of “official error” was substituted by paragraph 2(b) of Schedule 4 to S.R. 2001 No. 176 and amended by regulation 2(2)(a) of S.R. 2002 No. 189

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