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The Social Security (Housing Benefit, State Pension Credit and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Social Security (Housing Benefit, State Pension Credit and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 and shall come into operation –

(a)for the purposes of this regulation and regulations 2(10)(a)(iii) and (iv) and (b) and (22) and 6(1) to (4) and (6), on 4th October 2004;

(b)for the purposes of regulation 7, on 6th October 2004;

(c)for all other purposes, on 4th April 2005.

(2) In these Regulations –

“the Housing Benefit Regulations” means the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(1).

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(2) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

Amendment of the Housing Benefit Regulations

2.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Housing Benefit Regulations shall be amended in accordance with the following paragraphs.

(2) The amendments made by paragraphs (4)(b), (9), (10), (13), (18) and (22) are to the Housing Benefit Regulations as modified in their application to persons to whom regulation 2 of the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(3) applies.

(3) The amendment made by paragraph (8)(a) is to the Housing Benefit Regulations as modified in their application to persons to whom regulation 2 of the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 applies, and to those Regulations as not so modified.

(4) In regulation 4 (remunerative work) –

(a)in paragraph (5)(4) “, state pension credit” shall be omitted;

(b)paragraph (5B)(5) shall be omitted.

(5) In regulation 5 (circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home), for paragraph (8B)(c)(i)(6) there shall be substituted the following head –

(i)detained in custody on remand pending trial or, as a condition of bail, required to reside in a dwelling, other than the dwelling he occupies as his home or, detained pending sentence upon conviction, or.

(6) In regulation 16(b)(7) (applicable amounts), from “, except a child or young person” to the end of that paragraph shall be omitted.

(7) In regulation 17(c)(8) (polygamous marriages) from “, except a child or young person” to the end of that paragraph shall be omitted.

(8) In regulation 19 (calculation of income and capital of members of claimant’s family and of a polygamous marriage) –

(a)in paragraph (1) there shall be omitted –

(i)from “and, subject to” to “a child or young person,”, and

(ii)“or that child or young person”;

(b)paragraph (2) shall be omitted;

(c)in paragraph (3) for sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraphs –

(a)the claimant shall be treated as possessing capital and income belonging to each such member; and

(b)the income and capital of that member shall be calculated in accordance with the following provisions of this Part in like manner as for the claimant.;

(d)after paragraph (3) there shall be added the following paragraph –

(4) The income and capital of a child or young person shall not be treated as the income and capital of the claimant..

(9) In regulation 23(4)(9) (calculation of claimant’s income and capital in savings credit only cases) –

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

(b)in respect of any dependent children of the claimant, childcare charges taken into account under regulation 26(1)(c);;

(b)in sub-paragraph (c)(10) heads (ii) and (iii) shall be omitted.

(10) In regulation 25 (meaning of “income”) –

(a)in paragraph (1) –

(i)in sub-paragraph (b) “and child tax credit” shall be omitted;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (f) after head (iv) there shall be inserted the following head –

(iv)(a)child benefit;;

(iii)at the end of sub-paragraph (q)(11) for “, and” there shall be substituted “;”;

(iv)after sub-paragraph (r) there shall be added the following sub-paragraph –

and

(s)any payment made at regular intervals under an equity release scheme.;

(b)after paragraph (6) there shall be added the following paragraph –

(7) In paragraph (1)(s) “equity release scheme” means a loan –

(a)made between a person (“the lender”) and the claimant;

(b)by means of which a sum of money is advanced by the lender to the claimant by way of payments at regular intervals; and

(c)which is secured on a dwelling in which the claimant owns an estate or interest and which he occupies as his home..

(11) In regulation 33(1)(12) (calculation of income other than earnings) from “or 36” to the end of that paragraph shall be omitted.

(12) Regulation 36 (modifications in respect of child and young person) shall be omitted.

(13) In regulation 42 (notional capital) for paragraph (2) there shall be substituted the following paragraph –

(2) A person who disposes of capital 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..

(14) In regulation 63 (non-dependant deductions) after paragraph (9)(13) there shall be added the following paragraph –

(10) No deduction shall be made in respect of a non-dependant who is on state pension credit..

(15) In regulation 68 (date on which change of circumstances is to take effect) –

(a)paragraph (1)(14) after “paragraphs (3) to (12)” there shall be inserted “, regulation 68B”;

(b)in paragraph (9)(b)(ii)(15) for “the income of a non-dependant increased” there shall be substituted “there has been a change of circumstances in respect of a non-dependant”.

(16) In regulation 68B(16) (change of circumstances where state pension credit payable) –

(a)after paragraph (5) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs –

(5A) Where, in the case of a claimant who, or whose partner, is or has been awarded state pension credit comprising only the savings credit, there is –

(a)a change of circumstances of a kind described in any of paragraphs (2) to (5) which results from a relevant calculation or estimate, and

(b)a change of circumstances which is a relevant determination,

each of which results in a change in the rate of housing benefit payable to the claimant, the change of circumstances referred to in sub-paragraph (b) shall take effect from the day specified in paragraph (2), (3), (4) or (5) as the case may be, in relation to the change referred to in sub-paragraph (a).;

(b)after paragraph (8) there shall be added the following paragraph –

(9) In this regulation –

“relevant calculation or estimate” means the calculation or estimate made by the Department of the claimant’s or, as the case may be, the claimant’s partner’s income and capital for the purposes of the award of state pension credit;

“relevant determination” means a change in the determination by the relevant authority of the claimant’s income and capital using the relevant calculation or estimate, in accordance with regulation 23(1) as modified in their application to persons to whom regulation 2(1) of the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 applies..

(17) In paragraph 14 of Schedule 2 (applicable amounts) sub-paragraph (a)(17) and the word “and” immediately following it shall be omitted.

(18) In Schedule 2A(18) (applicable amounts for persons who have attained or whose partner has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) in paragraph 1, column (1), sub-paragraph (1), after “Single claimant” there shall be inserted “or lone parent”.

(19) In Schedule 3 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of earnings) –

(a)in paragraph 13 the words from “except” to “applies” shall omitted;

(b)paragraph 14(19) shall be omitted.

(20) In paragraph 25(2) of Schedule 4 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings) for the words from “a child or young person” to “so much” there shall be substituted “a child or young person, so much”.

(21) In paragraph 21(20) of Schedule 5 (capital to be disregarded) there shall be omitted –

(a)“, 36(5)”; and

(b)“, modifications in respect of child and young person”.

(22) In paragraph 4(a) of Part I of Schedule 5ZA(21) (capital to be disregarded) for the words from “partner” to “claimant” there shall be substituted “person who is a relative of the claimant or of his partner”.

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

3.  In regulation 7(17B)(d)(ii) of the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999(22) (date from which a decision superseded under Article 11 takes effect) for “a non-dependant’s income increases and this affects” there shall be substituted “there has been a change of circumstances in respect of a non-dependant and this reduces”.

Amendment of the Income Support (General) Regulations

4.  In Schedule 3(23) to the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(24) (housing costs) –

(a)in paragraph 3(11)(c) (circumstances in which a person is to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home) for sub-head (i) there shall be substituted the following sub-head –

(i)detained in custody on remand pending trial or, as a condition of bail, required to reside in a dwelling, other than the dwelling he occupies as his home or, detained pending sentence upon conviction, or;

(b)in paragraph 18 (non-dependant deductions) –

(i)in sub-paragraph (1) for heads (a) to (c)(25) there shall be substituted the following heads –

(a)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over who is engaged in any remunerative work, £47·75;

(b)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over to whom head (a) does not apply, £7·40.;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (7) –

(aa)at the end of head (g)(26) there shall be inserted “or”;

(bb)after head (g) there shall be added the following head –

(h)if he is in receipt of state pension credit..

Amendment of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations

5.  In Schedule 2 to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(27) (housing costs) –

(a)in paragraph 3(11)(c) (circumstances in which a person is to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home) for sub-head (i)(28) there shall be substituted the following sub-head –

(i)required, as a condition of bail, to reside in a dwelling, other than the dwelling he occupies as his home; or;;

(b)in paragraph 17 (non-dependant deductions) –

(i)in sub-paragraph (1), for heads (a) to (c)(29) there shall be substituted the following heads –

(a)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over who is engaged in any remunerative work, £47·75;

(b)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over to whom head (a) does not apply, £7·40.;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (7) –

(aa)at the end of head (g)(30) there shall be inserted “or”;

(bb)after head (g) there shall be added the following head –

(h)if he is in receipt of state pension credit..

Amendment of the State Pension Credit Regulations

6.—(1) The State Pension Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(31) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (6).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation), after the definition of “the Eileen Trust” there shall be inserted –

“equity release scheme” means a loan –

(a)

made between a person (“the lender”) and the claimant;

(b)

by means of which a sum of money is advanced by the lender to the claimant by way of payments at regular intervals, and

(c)

which is secured on a dwelling in which the claimant owns an estate or interest and which he occupies as his home;.

(3) In regulation 15(5) (income for the purposes of the Act) after sub-paragraph (i)(32) there shall be added the following sub-paragraph –

(j)any payment made at regular intervals under an equity release scheme..

(4) At the end of regulation 16 (retirement pension income) there shall be added the following paragraph –

(m)any payment made at regular intervals under an equity release scheme..

(5) In Schedule 2 (housing costs) –

(a)in paragraph 4(11)(c) (circumstances in which a person is to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home) for sub-head (i) there shall be substituted the following sub-head –

(i)detained in custody on remand pending trial or, as a condition of bail, required to reside in a dwelling, other than the dwelling he occupies as his home or, detained pending sentence upon conviction; or;

(b)in paragraph 14 (persons residing with the claimant) –

(i)in sub-paragraph (1), for heads (a) to (c)(33) there shall be substituted the following heads –

(a)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over who is engaged in any remunerative work, £47·75;

(b)in respect of a non-dependant aged 18 or over to whom head (a) does not apply, £7·40.;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (7) –

(aa)at the end of head (e)(34) there shall be inserted “or”;

(bb)after head (e) there shall be added the following head –

(f)if he is in receipt of state pension credit..

(6) In paragraph 4(a) of Schedule 5 (capital disregarded for the purpose of calculating income), for the words from “partner” to “claimant” there shall be substituted “person who is a close relative, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the claimant or of his partner”.

Amendment of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations

7.  In regulation 4E(3) of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(35) (making a claim after attaining the qualifying age: date of claim) –

(a)for “claimant” the first time it appears there shall be substituted “person wishing to make a claim”, and

(b)in sub-paragraph (a) after “informs” there shall be inserted “(by whatever means)”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 15th September 2004.

L.S.

John O'Neill

A senior officer of the

Department for Social Development

The Department of Finance and Personnel hereby consents to regulation 2.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Finance and Personnel on 15th September 2004.

L.S.

Ciaran Doran

A senior officer of the

Department of Finance and Personnel

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