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The Housing Benefit (Miscellaneous Amendments No.3) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Housing Benefit (Miscellaneous Amendments No. 3) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 and shall come into operation—

(a)in relation to any case where rent is payable at intervals of a whole number of weeks, on 3rd April 2006, and

(b)for all other purposes on 1st April 2006.

(2) In these Regulations—

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

“the State Pension Credit Regulations” means the Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(2).

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

Amendment of the Housing Benefit Regulations

2.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) the Housing Benefit Regulations shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (3) to (17).

(2) The amendments made by paragraphs (3), (6) and (16) are to the Housing Benefit Regulations as modified in their application to persons to whom regulation 2 of the State Pension Credit Regulations applies.

(3) In regulation 16(4) (applicable amounts)—

(a)paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) shall be omitted;

(b)for paragraph (5) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(5) In Schedule 2A(5)

“additional spouse” means a spouse of either party to the marriage who is additional to the other party to the marriage;

“patient” means a person (other than a person who is serving a sentence of imprisonment or detention in a young offenders centre or a juvenile justice centre) who is regarded as receiving free in-patient treatment within the meaning of the Social Security (Hospital In-Patients) Regulations (Northern Ireland)1975(6).;

(c)paragraph (7) shall be omitted.

(4) Regulation 18(7) (patients) shall be omitted.

(5) In regulation 21A(4)(c)(8) (treatment of child care charges) for “within the meaning of regulation 18(2) (patients)” there shall be substituted “, which in this regulation shall mean a person (other than a person who is serving a sentence of imprisonment or detention in a young offenders centre or a juvenile justice centre) who is regarded as receiving free in-patient treatment within the meaning of the Social Security (Hospital In-Patients) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1975.”.

(6) In regulation 36(7)(a) (notional income), after “regulation 69(2)(b)” there shall be inserted “or (c)”.

(7) In regulation 63(7)(e)(9) (non-dependant deductions) for heads (i) and (ii) there shall be substituted the following heads—

(i)“patient” has the meaning given in paragraph (9) of regulation 5 (circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home),

(ii)where a person has been a patient for 2 or more distinct periods separated by one or more intervals each not exceeding 28 days, he shall be treated as having been a patient continuously for a period equal in duration to the total of those distinct periods, and.

(8) In regulation 65 (date on which entitlement is to commence)—

(a)paragraph (3)(10) shall be omitted;

(b)for paragraph (5)(11), there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(5) A claimant shall become entitled to housing benefit from the benefit week in which the first day in respect of which his claim is made falls, where he is otherwise entitled to housing benefit and—

(a)regulation 72B applies to him and he becomes liable in that benefit week, for the first time, to make payments in respect of a dwelling which he occupies as his home, or,

(b)paragraph (2) does not apply to him and he becomes liable in that benefit week to make payments, which fall due on a daily basis, in respect of a hostel which he occupies as his home..

(9) In regulation 68 (date on which change of circumstances is to take effect)—

(a)paragraph (1A)(12) shall be omitted;

(b)for paragraph (2)(13) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(2) Subject to paragraph (13), except in a case where regulation 8(3) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations (14) applies, where the change of circumstances is a change in the amount of rent or rates payable in respect of a dwelling, that change shall take effect from the day on which it actually occurs.;

(c)after paragraph (2) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(2A) Subject to paragraphs (13) and (14), except in a case to which regulation 8(3) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations applies, where the change of circumstances is—

(a)that a person moves into a new dwelling occupied as the home, or

(b)any other event which—

(i)entitles a person to be treated as occupying 2 dwellings as his home under regulation 5(5), or

(ii)brings to an end a person’s right to be treated as occupying 2 dwellings as his home under that regulation, in a case where he has, immediately prior to the event, being treated as occupying 2 dwellings as his home,

that change of circumstances shall take effect on the day on which it actually occurs.

(2B) Subject to paragraph (13), where the change of circumstances is the expiry of a maximum period of time, referred to in regulation 5(5), for which a person can be treated as occupying 2 dwellings as his home, that change shall take effect on the day after the last day of that period..

(d)in paragraph (3)(15)—

(i)“and (14)” shall be omitted;

(ii)in sub-paragraph (a)(i), after “69(2)(b)” there shall be inserted “or (c)”;

(e)for paragraph (4)(16) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(4) Subject to paragraph (13), if 2 or more changes of circumstances occurring in the same benefit week would, but for this paragraph, take effect in different benefit weeks in accordance with this regulation they shall take effect on the first day of the benefit week in which they occur unless a change taking effect under paragraphs (2), (2A) or (2B) takes effect in that week, in which case the changes shall all take effect on the day on which that change takes effect.;

(f)for paragraphs (13) and (14) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs—

(13) Subject to paragraph (14), where a change of circumstances occurs which has the effect of bringing entitlement to an end it shall take effect on the first day of the benefit week following the benefit week in which that change actually occurs except in a case where a person is liable to make payments, which fall due on a daily basis, in respect of a hostel in which case that change shall take effect on the day on which it actually occurs.

(14) Where the change of circumstances is that a person moves to a new dwelling and immediately after the move he is treated as occupying his former dwelling as his home in accordance with regulation 5(5A) or (7A) then that change of circumstances shall take effect on the day after the last day for which he is treated as liable to make payments in respect of the former dwelling in accordance with whichever of those regulations applies in his case..

(10) In regulation 68B(7A)(a)(i)(17)(change of circumstances where state pension credit payable), after “regulation 69(2)(b)”, there shall be inserted “or (c)”.

(11) In regulation 69 (calculation of weekly amounts)—

(a)in paragraph (2)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (a) for “paragraph (4)” there shall be substituted “paragraph (5)”;

(ii)for sub-paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraphs—

(b)subject to paragraph (5), where the rent is payable at intervals of a calendar month or multiples thereof, the amount determined by dividing the amount payable by the number equal to the number of calendar months in respect of which it is payable, multiplying by 12 and dividing by 52;

(c)subject to paragraph (5), where the rent is payable at intervals of a day or multiples thereof, the amount determined by dividing the amount payable by the number equal to the number of days in respect of which it is payable and multiplying by 7.;

(b)in paragraph (3) for paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs—

(b)subject to paragraph (5), where the rent is payable at intervals of a calendar month or multiples thereof, the amount determined by dividing the amount payable by the number equal to the number of calendar months in respect of which it is payable, multiplying by 12 and dividing by 52;

(c)subject to paragraph (5), where the rent is payable at intervals of a day or multiples thereof, the amount determined by dividing the amount payable by the number equal to the number of days in respect of which it is payable and multiplying by 7.;

(c)paragraph (4) shall be omitted;

(d)for paragraph (5) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(5) In a case—

(a)to which regulation 65(2) or (5) (date on which entitlement is to commence) applies, his eligible rent or rates for the benefit week in which he becomes liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling which he occupies as his home shall be calculated by multiplying his daily rent or daily rates by the number equal to the number of days in that benefit week for which he is liable to make such payments;

(b)where a change of circumstances takes effect in a benefit week under regulation 68(2A), (but is not a change described in sub-paragraph (c)(ii) of this regulation), (2B), (13) or (14) other than on the first day of a benefit week then the claimant’s eligible rent for that benefit week shall be calculated by multiplying his daily rent by the appropriate number of days in that benefit week;

(c)where—

(i)the amounts of eligible rent or rates which the claimant is liable to pay in respect of a dwelling is altered and that change of circumstances takes effect under regulation 68(2), or

(ii)the claimant—

(aa)moves to a new dwelling occupied as the home;

(bb)he is not entitled to be treated, immediately after that move, as occupying 2 dwellings as his home or as occupying his former dwelling as his home, and

(cc)that change of circumstances takes effect under regulation 68(2A),

other than on the Monday of a benefit week, then the claimant’s eligible rent or rates for that benefit week shall be calculated by multiplying his old and new daily rent or rates by the number equal to the number of days in that week which relate respectively to the old and new amounts which he is liable to pay.;

(e)in paragraph (6) for “(5)(a) or (c)” there shall be substituted “(5)(a) or (b)”;

(f)in paragraph (7) for “(5)(b)” there shall be substituted “(5)(c)”;

(g)after paragraph (9) there shall be added the following paragraphs—

(10) In this regulation “daily rent” shall mean the amount determined by dividing by 7 the amount determined under whichever sub-paragraph of paragraph (2) is appropriate in each case.

(11) Where a claimant is entitled to benefit in respect of 2 (but not more than 2) dwellings in accordance with regulation 5(5) his eligible rent or rates shall be calculated in respect of each dwelling in accordance with this regulation..

(12) In regulation 70(18) (rent and rate-free periods)—

(a)for paragraph (2) there shall be substituted—

(2) In the case of the beginning or ending of a claimant’s rent and rate-free period, his eligible rent or rates for the benefit week in which the rent and rate-free period begins and ends shall be calculated on a daily basis as if those benefit weeks were weeks to which regulation 69(5) applies.;

(b)in paragraph (3)(b) after “regulation 69(2)(b) ” there shall be inserted “or (c)”.

(13) In regulation 75(6)(19) (duty to notify changes of circumstances) sub-paragraph (b) shall be omitted .

(14) In Schedule 2 (applicable amounts)—

(a)in paragraph 12(1)(a)(iii)(20) (additional condition for the higher pensions and disability premium)—

(i)from “except” to “applies” shall be omitted, and

(ii)for “regulation 18(2) (patients)” there shall be substituted “regulation 21A(4)(c) (treatment of child care charges)”;

(b)in paragraph 13A(2)(21) (enhanced disability premium) in sub-paragraph (b)(ii) for “regulation 18(2) (patients)” there shall be substituted “regulation 21A(4)(c)”, and

(15) In paragraph 8(1)(e)(22) of Schedule 5 (capital to be disregarded), from “where” to “circumstances” shall be omitted.

(16) In paragraph 21(2) of Schedule 5ZA(23), after sub-paragraph (k) there shall be added the following sub-paragraphs—

(l)any discretionary housing payment paid pursuant to regulation 2(1) of the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(24); or

(m)working tax credit..

(17) In paragraph 9(2)(b)(25) of Schedule 6 (matters to be included in the decision notice) from “and” to “benefit” shall be omitted.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 10th October 2005.

L.S.

John O'Neill

A senior officer of the

Department for Social Development

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Finance and Personnel on 10th October 2005.

L.S.

Jack Layberry

A senior officer of the

Department of Finance and Personnel

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