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The State Pension Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

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Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the State Pension Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 and shall come into operation on 5th April 2004.

Amendment of the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations

2.  In the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999(1), in regulation 7 (date from which a decision superseded under Article 11 takes effect) –

(a)for paragraphs (17B) and (17C)(2) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs –

(17B) Paragraph (17C) applies where –

(a)a claimant is awarded state pension credit;

(b)the claimant or his partner is aged 65 or over;

(c)his appropriate minimum guarantee (as defined by the State Pension Credit Act) includes housing costs determined in accordance with Schedule 2 to the State Pension Credit Regulations, and

(d)after the date from which sub-paragraph (c) applies –

(i)a non-dependant (as defined in that Schedule) begins to reside with the claimant, or

(ii)a non-dependant’s income increases and this affects the applicable amount of the claimant’s housing costs.

(17C) In the circumstances specified in paragraph (17B) a decision made under Article 11 shall take effect –

(a)where there is more than one change of the kind specified in paragraph (17B)(d) in respect of the same non-dependant within the same 26 week period, 26 weeks after the date on which the first such change occurred, and

(b)in any other circumstances, 26 weeks after the date on which a change specified in paragraph (17B)(d) occurred.;

(b)in paragraph (23)(3) omit “, (17B)”.

Amendment of the State Pension Credit Regulations

3.—(1) The State Pension Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(4) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) In regulation 10 (assessed income period) –

(a)for paragraph (5) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs –

(5) The day referred to in this paragraph is –

(a)in a case to which paragraph (5A) applies –

(i)where the first increased payment date is the day on which the benefit week begins, that day;

(ii)where head (i) does not apply, the first day of the next benefit week which begins after that increased payment date;

(b)in a case to which paragraph (5A) does not apply –

(i)where the second increased payment date is the day on which the benefit week begins, that day;

(ii)where head (i) does not apply, the first day of the next benefit week following that increased payment date.

(5A) This paragraph applies where the period which –

(a)begins on the date from which the increase in the assessed amount is to accrue; and

(b)ends on the first increased payment date,

is a period of the same length as the period in respect of which the last payment of the pre-increase assessed amount was made.

(5B) In paragraphs (5) and (5A) –

“increased payment date” means a date on which the increase in the assessed amount referred to in paragraph (4) is paid as part of a periodic payment under the claimant’s retirement pension scheme or annuity contract; and

“pre-increase assessed amount” means the assessed amount prior to that increase..

(b)in paragraph (6), for sub-paragraph (a) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph –

(a)on the day in April each year on which increases in the additional pensions in the rates of long-term benefits come into operation by virtue of an order under section 132(1) of the Administration Act if that is the first day of a benefit week but if it is not from the next following such day, and.

(3) After regulation 17 (calculation of weekly income) there shall be inserted the following regulation –

Treatment of final payments of income

17ZA.(1) Save where regulation 13B(5) applies, this regulation applies where –

(a)a claimant has been receiving a regular payment of income;

(b)that payment is coming to an end or has ended, and

(c)the claimant receives a payment of income whether as the last of the regular payments or following the last of them (“the final payment”).

(2) For the purposes of regulation 17(1) –

(a)where the amount of the final payment is less than or equal to the amount of the preceding, or the last, regular payment, the whole amount shall be treated as being paid in respect of a period of the same length as that in respect of which that regular payment was made;

(b)where the amount of the final payment is greater than the amount of that regular payment –

(i)to the extent that it comprises (whether exactly or with an excess remaining) one or more multiples of that amount, each such multiple shall be treated as being paid in respect of a period of the same length as that in respect of which that regular payment was made; and

(ii)any excess shall be treated as paid in respect of a further period of the same length as that in respect of which that regular payment was made.

(3) A final payment referred to in paragraph (2)(a) shall, where not in fact paid on the date on which a regular payment would have been paid had it continued in payment, be treated as paid on that date.

(4) Each multiple and any excess referred to in paragraph (2)(b) shall be treated as paid on the dates on which a corresponding number of regular payments would have been made had they continued in payment.

(5) For the purposes of this regulation, a “regular payment” means a payment of income made in respect of a period –

(a)referred to in regulation 17(1)(a) or (b) on a regular date, or

(b)which is subject to the provisions of regulation 17(2)..

(4) In regulation 21 (notional capital), for paragraph (2) there shall be substituted the following paragraph –

(2) A person who disposes of a capital resource for the purpose of –

(a)reducing or paying a debt owed by the claimant, or

(b)purchasing goods or services if the expenditure was reasonable in the circumstances of the claimant’s case,

shall be regarded as not depriving himself of it..

(5) Paragraph 24 of Schedule 5 as inserted by regulation 23(9)(c) of the State Pension Credit (Consequential, Transitional and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(6) shall be renumbered paragraph 23A.

Saving

4.  Regulation 2 shall not apply where –

(a)a person’s claim for state pension credit is backdated in accordance with regulation 36 (claims for state pension credit) of the State Pension Credit (Consequential, Transitional and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, and

(b)a change of a kind specified in the paragraph (17C) substituted by regulation 2 or, as the case may be, the first such change occurred before 5th April 2004.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 12th March 2004.

L.S.

John O'Neill

Senior Officer of the

Department for Social Development

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