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

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Claims for state pension credit

4.—(1) In regulation 4 (making a claim for benefit), after paragraph (9), there shall be added the following paragraph –

(10) This regulation shall not apply to a claim for state pension credit..

(2) In regulation 4B(1)(b)(1) (forwarding claims and information), after “applies” there shall be inserted “or for state pension credit.”.

(3) After regulation 4B there shall be inserted the following regulations –

Making a claim for state pension credit

4C.(1) A claim for state pension credit need only be made in writing if the Department so directs in any particular case.

(2) A claim shall be made in writing either –

(a)by completing and returning in accordance with the instructions printed on it a form approved or provided by the Department for the purpose; or

(b)in such other written form as the Department accepts as sufficient in the circumstances of the case.

(3) A claim for state pension credit may be made in writing whether or not a direction is issued under paragraph (1) and may also be made by telephone to, or in person at, an appropriate office or other office designated by the Department for accepting claims for state pension credit.

(4) A claim made in writing may also be made at an office of –

(a)the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or the Department of Finance and Personnel administering housing benefit;

(b) a person providing services to either the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or the office of the Department of Finance and Personnel administering housing benefit; or

(c)a person authorised to exercise any function of an office of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or the Department of Finance and Personnel relating to housing benefit.

(5) Any claim made in accordance with paragraph (4), together with any information and evidence supplied in connection with making the claim, shall be forwarded as soon as reasonably practicable to the Department by the person who received the claim.

(6) A claim for state pension credit made in person or by telephone is not a valid claim unless a written statement of the claimant’s circumstances, provided for the purpose by the Department, is approved by the person making the claim.

(7) A married or unmarried couple may agree between them as to which partner shall make a claim for state pension credit, but in the absence of an agreement, the Department shall decide which of them is to make the claim.

(8) Where one member of a married or unmarried couple (“the former claimant”) is entitled to state pension credit under an award but a claim for state pension credit is made by the other member of the couple, then, if both members of the couple confirm in writing that they wish the claimant to be the other member, the former claimant’s entitlement shall terminate on the last day of the benefit week specified in paragraph (9).

(9) That benefit week is the benefit week of the former claimant which includes the day immediately preceding the day on which the partner’s claim is actually made or, if earlier, is treated as made.

(10) If a claim for state pension credit is defective when first received, the Department shall provide the person making it with an opportunity to correct the defect.

(11) If that person corrects the defect so that the claim then satisfies the requirements of paragraph (2) and does so within one month of the date the Department last drew attention to the defect, the claim shall be treated as having been properly made on the date –

(a)the defective claim was first received by the Department or the person acting on its behalf, or

(b)if regulation 4E(3) applies, the person informed an appropriate office of his intention to claim state pension credit.

(12) Paragraph (11) does not apply in a case to which regulation 4D(3) applies.

(13) State pension credit is a relevant benefit for the purposes of section 5A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(2).

Making a claim before attaining the qualifying age

4D.(1) A claim for state pension credit may be made, and any claim made may be determined, at any time within the advance period.

(2) The advance period begins on the date which falls 4 months before the day on which the claimant attains the qualifying age and ends on the day before he attains that age.

(3) A person who makes a claim within the advance period which is defective may correct the defect at any time before the end of the advance period.

Making a claim after attaining the qualifying age: date of claim

4E.(1) This regulation applies in the case of a person who claims state pension credit on or after attaining the qualifying age.

(2) The date on which a claim is made shall, subject to paragraph (3), be –

(a)where the claim is made in writing and is not defective, the date on which the claim is first received –

(i)by the Department or the person acting on its behalf, or

(ii)in a case to which regulation 4C(4) applies, in the office of a person specified therein;

(b)where the claim is not made in writing but is otherwise made in accordance with regulation 4C(3) and is not defective, the date the claimant provides details of his circumstances by telephone to, or in person at, the appropriate office or other office designated by the Department to accept claims for state pension credit, or

(c)where a claim is initially defective but the defect is corrected under regulation 4C(11), the date the claim is treated as having been made under that regulation.

(3) If a claimant –

(a)informs an appropriate office of his intention to claim state pension credit; and

(b)subsequently makes the claim in accordance with regulation 4C within one month of complying with sub-paragraph (a), or within such longer period as the Department may allow,

the claim may, where in the circumstances of the particular case it is appropriate to do so, be treated as made on the day on which the claimant first informed the appropriate office of his intention to claim state pension credit..

(1)

Regulation 4B was inserted by regulation 3 of S.R. 2001 No. 175

(2)

Section 5A was inserted by Article 68 of the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3147 (N.I. 11))

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