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The Social Security and Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2007 No. 196

housing; rates; Social security

family Law

Child Support

The Social Security and Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

Made

23rd March 2007

Coming into operation

2nd April 2007

The Department for Social Development makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 28J(5) and 47 of, and paragraphs 8 and 9(d) of Schedule 1 to, the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991(1), sections 122(1)(a) and (d), 129(2), 132(3) and (4)(a) to (c), 132A(3) and 171(1), (3) and (4) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(2), Articles 14(2) and (4)(a) to (c) and 36(2) of the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(3), and now vested in it(4), and sections 15(6)(b) and 19(1) to (3) of the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002(5).

Regulations 7, 8 and 9 are made with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel(6).

The Social Security Advisory Committee has agreed that proposals in respect of regulations 7, 8 and 9 should not be referred to it(7).

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Social Security and Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and shall come into operation on 2nd April 2007.

(2) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(8) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

Amendment of the Income Support (General) Regulations

2.—(1) The Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(9) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (8).

(2) In regulation 2(1) (interpretation) after the definition of “war widower’s pension”(10) insert—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006(11) in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home;.

(3) In regulation 42(4)(a) (notional income) at the end of head (ii)(12) add “, or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable”.

(4) In regulation 51(3)(a) (notional capital) at the end of head (ii)(13) add “, or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable”.

(5) In regulation 66B(3)(14) (treatment of payments from access funds) for “shall be disregarded as income to the extent of £20 per week” substitute “and any payments from access funds which are used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable shall be disregarded as income to the extent of £20 per week”.

(6) In regulation 68(3)(15) (income treated as capital) for “shall be disregarded as capital but only for a period of 52 weeks from the date of the payment” substitute “or which is used for an item other than any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable shall be disregarded as capital but only for a period of 52 weeks from the date of the payment”.

(7) In Schedule 9 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings)—

(a)in paragraph 13(16) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “or any water charges for which the claimant or member is liable”;

(b)in paragraph 22—

(i)in sub-paragraph (2)(b)(17) after “rates” insert “or water charges”, and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) The definition of “water charges” in regulation 2(1) shall apply to sub-paragraph (2) with the omission of the words “in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home”.; and

(c)in paragraph 67(18) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “, or any water charges for which the claimant or member is liable”.

(8) In Schedule 10 (capital to be disregarded) in paragraph 54(19) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “or any water charges for which the claimant or member is liable”.

Amendment of the Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations

3.—(1) The Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(20) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In Schedule 2 (amounts to be disregarded when calculating or estimating N and M) after paragraph 23(b) add—

(c)water charges payable in respect of that property..

(3) In Schedule 3 (eligible housing costs)—

(a)in paragraph 6—

(i)after sub-paragraph (b) insert—

(ba)water charges, and where the amount of such charges is not separately identified, such part of the charges in question as is attributable to those services;, and

(ii)in sub-paragraph (c)(21) for “and (b)” substitute “to (ba)”; and

(b)in paragraph 7 after the definition of “close relative”(22) add—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home..

Amendment of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations

4.—(1) The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(23) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (8).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) after the definition of “war widower’s pension”(24) insert—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home;.

(3) In regulation 105(10)(a) (notional income) at the end of head (ii)(25) add “, or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable”.

(4) In regulation 113(3)(a) (notional capital) at the end of head (ii)(26) add “, or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable”.

(5) In regulations 136A(3)(27) (treatment of payments from access funds) for “shall be disregarded as income to the extent of £20 per week” substitute “and any payments from access funds which are used for any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable shall be disregarded as income to the extent of £20 per week”.

(6) In regulation 138(3)(28) (income treated as capital) for “shall be disregarded as capital but only for a period of 52 weeks from the date of the payment” substitute “or which is used for an item other than any water charges for which that claimant or partner is liable shall be disregarded as capital but only for a period of 52 weeks from the date of the payment”.

(7) In Schedule 6 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings)—

(a)in paragraph 14(29) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “or any water charges for which the claimant or member is liable”;

(b)in paragraph 23—

(i)in sub-paragraph (2)(b) after “rates” insert “or water charges”, and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) The definition of “water charges” in regulation 1(2) shall apply to sub-paragraph (2) with the omission of the words “in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home”.; and

(c)in paragraph 65(30) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “or any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

(8) In Schedule 7 (capital to be disregarded) in paragraph 49(31) at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “, or any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

Amendment of the Child Support (Voluntary Payments) Regulations

5.—(1) The Child Support (Voluntary Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(32) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) after the definition of “relevant person” add—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home..

(3) In regulation 3(b)(iv) (types of payment) after “mains supplied gas” insert “, water”.

Amendment of the State Pension Credit Regulations

6.—(1) The State Pension Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(33) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) after the definition of “voluntary organisation” add—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home..

(3) In Schedule 4 (amounts to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings) in paragraph 11(2)(b) for “or rates” substitute “, rates or water charges”.

Amendment of the Housing Benefit Regulations

7.—(1) The Housing Benefit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(34) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (10).

(2) In regulation 2(1) (interpretation) after the definition of “war widower’s pension” insert—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home;.

(3) In regulation 13 (rent)—

(a)after paragraph (3)(b)(i) insert—

(ia)except where he is separately liable for charges for water, sewerage or allied environmental services, an amount determined in accordance with paragraph (6A); ; and

(b)after paragraph (6) insert—

(6A) The amount of the deduction referred to in paragraph (3)(b)(ia) shall be—

(a)except in a case to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, if the dwelling occupied by the claimant is a self-contained unit, the amount of the charges;

(b)in any other case except one to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, the proportion of those charges in respect of the self-contained unit which is obtained by dividing the area of the dwelling occupied by the claimant by the area of the self-contained unit of which it forms part;

(c)where the charges vary in accordance with the amount of water actually used, the amount which the Executive considers to be fairly attributable to water, and sewerage services, having regard to the actual or estimated consumption of the claimant..

(4) In regulation 14(18) (maximum rent) in the definition of “reckonable rent” for “or deduction for meals” substitute “, deduction for meals or water charges”.

(5) In regulation 39(6) (notional income) at the end of sub-paragraph (b) add “or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

(6) In regulation 46(3) (notional capital) at the end of sub-paragraph (b) add “or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

(7) In regulation 63(3) (treatment of payments from access funds) after “his family” insert “, and any payments from access funds which are used for any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

(8) In regulation 66(3) (amounts treated as capital) after “his family,” insert “or which is used for any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable,”.

(9) In Schedule 6 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings)—

(a)in paragraph 13 at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “, or is used for any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”;

(b)in paragraph 18—

(i)in sub-paragraph (2)(b) after “rates” insert “or water charges”, and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (3) add—

(4) The definition of “water charges” in regulation 2(1) shall apply to sub-paragraph (2) with the omission of the words “in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home”.; and

(c)in paragraph 61 at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “, or any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

(10) In Schedule 7 (capital to be disregarded) in paragraph 49 at the end of sub-paragraph (2) add “, or any water charges for which that claimant or member is liable”.

Amendment of the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations

8.—(1) The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(35) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) In regulation 2(1) (interpretation) after the definition of “war widower’s pension” insert—

“water charges” means any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part VII of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home;.

(3) In regulation 13 (rent)—

(a)after paragraph (3)(b)(i) insert—

(ia)except where he is separately liable for charges for water, sewerage or allied environmental services, an amount determined in accordance with paragraph (6A); ; and

(b)after paragraph (6) insert—

(6A) The amount of the deduction referred to in paragraph (3)(b)(ia) shall be—

(a)except in a case to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, if the dwelling occupied by the claimant is a self-contained unit, the amount of the charges;

(b)in any other case except one to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, the proportion of those charges in respect of the self-contained unit which is obtained by dividing the area of the dwelling occupied by the claimant by the area of the self-contained unit of which it forms part;

(c)where the charges vary in accordance with the amount of water actually used, the amount which the Executive considers to be fairly attributable to water, and sewerage services, having regard to the actual or estimated consumption of the claimant..

(4) In regulation 14(18) (maximum rent) in the definition of “reckonable rent” for “or deduction for meals” substitute “, deduction for meals or water charges”.

(5) In Schedule 6 (amounts to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings) in paragraph 13(2)(b) for “or rates” substitute “, rates or water charges”.

Amendment of the Housing Benefit (Consequential Provisions) Regulations

9.  In Schedule 3 to the Housing Benefit (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(36) (transitional and savings provisions) in paragraph 5(1) in regulation 13 (rent) as set out in that paragraph—

(a)after paragraph (3)(a) insert—

(ab)except where he is separately liable for charges for water, sewerage or allied environmental services, an amount determined in accordance with paragraph (6A); ; and

(b)after paragraph (6) insert—

(6A) The amount of the deduction referred to in paragraph (3)(ab) shall be—

(a)except in a case to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, if the dwelling occupied by the claimant is a self-contained unit, the amount of the charges;

(b)in any other case except one to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, the proportion of those charges in respect of the self-contained unit which is obtained by dividing the area of the dwelling occupied by the claimant by the area of the self-contained unit of which it forms part;

(c)where the charges vary in accordance with the amount of water actually used, the amount which the Executive considers to be fairly attributable to water, and sewerage services, having regard to the actual or estimated consumption of the claimant..

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 23rd March 2007

(L.S.)

John O’Neill

A senior officer of the Department for Social Development

The Department of Finance and Personnel consents to regulations 7, 8 and 9.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Finance and Personnel on 23rd March 2007

(L.S.)

Jack Layberry

A senior officer of the Department of Finance and Personnel

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend:

  • the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987;

  • the Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992;

  • the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996;

  • the Child Support (Voluntary Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001;

  • the State Pension Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003;

  • the Housing Benefit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006;

  • the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006; and

  • the Housing Benefit (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006,

in consequence of the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

Regulations 2 to 8 insert a definition of “water charges”.

Regulations 2, 4 and 6 to 8 make amendments in relation to the calculation of income and capital.

Regulation 3 makes amendments to the Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 to clarify the amounts to be disregarded in the calculation of maintenance assessments.

Regulation 5 makes a consequential amendment to the Child Support (Voluntary Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 to add water charges to the list of voluntary payments made by the non-resident parent, which can be offset against child maintenance arrears, or in the adjustment of a maintenance calculation.

Regulations 7 to 9 make amendments in relation to the calculation of rent in housing benefit.

In so far as these Regulations are required, for the purposes of regulations 7, 8 and 9, to be referred to the Social Security Advisory Committee under section 149(2) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, after agreement by the Social Security Advisory Committee, they have not been so referred by virtue of section 150(1)(b) of that Act. Otherwise they make in relation to Northern Ireland only provision corresponding to provision contained in Regulations made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in relation to Great Britain and accordingly, by virtue of section 149(3) of, and paragraph 10 of Schedule 5 to, that Act, are not subject to the requirement of section 149(2) for prior reference to the Social Security Advisory Committee.

(1)

S.I. 1991/2628 (N.I. 23); Article 47 was amended by paragraph 31 of Schedule 6 to the Social Security (Northern Ireland Order ) 1998 (S.I. 1998/1506 (N.I. 10)) and is amended by section 1(2) of, and paragraph 27 of Schedule 3 to, the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4 (N.I.)); paragraphs 8 and 9 of Schedule 1 were amended by paragraph 32 of Schedule 6 to the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

(2)

1992 c. 7; section 132A was inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002 (c.14 (N.I.)); section 171(1) was amended by paragraph 5 of Schedule 4 to the Tax Credits Act 2002 (c. 21) and section 171(2) was amended by paragraph 28(2) of Schedule 3 to the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/671)

(3)

S.I. 1995/2705 (N.I. 15); Article 36(2) was amended by paragraph 55 of Schedule 3 to the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999

(4)

See Article 8(b) of S.R. 1999 No. 481

(6)

See section 171(6A) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 as inserted by Article 3(3) of the Social Security (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993/1579 (N.I. 8)); see also Article 6(b) of S.R. 1999 No. 481

(7)

See section 150(1)(b) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (c. 8)

(10)

The definition of “war widower’s pension” was inserted by regulation 2(2) of S.R. 2002 No. 128 and amended by Article 2(3) of, and paragraph 12(2)(c) of Schedule 3 to, S.R. 2005 No. 536

(12)

Head (ii) was amended by regulation 4(4)(a) of S.R. 1994 No. 77 and regulation 2 of, and paragraph 10(e)(iv) of Schedule 1 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(3) of those Regulations applies)

(13)

Head (ii) was amended by regulation 10 of, and paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to, S.R. 1989 No. 139, regulation 2(1) of, and paragraph 8 of Part I of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132 and regulation 2 of, and paragraph 13(a)(iv) of Schedule 1 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(3) of those Regulations applies)

(14)

Regulation 66B was inserted by regulation 2(5) of S.R. 2000 No. 242 and amended by regulation 2(1) of, and paragraph 9 of Part I of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132, regulation 2 of, and paragraph 17 of Schedule 1 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(3) of those Regulations applies) and regulation 2(5) of S.R. 2007 No. 154

(15)

Regulation 68(3) was added by regulation 2(6) of S.R. 2000 No. 242 and amended by regulation 2(1) of, and paragraph 10 of Part I of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132, regulation 2 of, and paragraph 17 of Schedule 1 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(3) of those Regulations applies) and regulation 2(6) of S.R. 2007 No. 154

(16)

Paragraph 13 was substituted by regulation 2(3)(a) of S.R. 2004 No. 143

(17)

Sub-paragraph (2) was substituted by regulation 36(e)(ii) of S.R. 1988 No. 146 and regulation 24(a)(ii) of S.R. 1988 No. 318 and regulation 4(7)(a) of S.R. 1993 No. 120

(18)

Paragraph 67 was added by regulation 5(4) of S.R. 1999 No. 342 and amended by regulation 2(1) of, and paragraph 17(g) of Part I of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132

(19)

Paragraph 54 was added by regulation 5(5) of S.R. 1999 No. 342 and amended by regulation 2(1) of, and paragraph 18 of Part I of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132

(20)

S.R. 1992 No. 341, which was revoked, with savings, by regulation 15(1) of S.R. 2001 No. 18

(21)

Sub-paragraph (c) was amended by paragraph 3(6) of Schedule 2 to S.R. 2006 No. 407

(22)

The definition of “close relative” was amended by Article 2(4) of, and paragraph 2(6) of Schedule 4 to, S.R. 2005 No. 536

(24)

The definition of “war widower’s pension” was inserted by regulation 4(2) of S.R. 2002 No. 128 and amended by Article 2(3) of, and paragraph 23(2)(d) of Schedule 3 to, S.R. 2005 No. 536

(25)

Head (ii) was amended by regulation 2(5) of, and paragraph 42 of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2000 No. 350 and regulation 3 of, and paragraph 10(c)(iv) of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(7) of those Regulations applies)

(26)

Head (ii) was amended by regulation 2(5) of, and paragraph 44 of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2000 No. 350, regulation 2(2) of, and paragraph 11 of Part II of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132 and regulation 3 of, and paragraph 13(a)(iv) of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(7) of those Regulations applies)

(27)

Regulation 136A was inserted by regulation 3(7) of S.R. 2000 No. 242 and amended by regulation 2(2) of, and paragraph 12 of Part II of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132, regulation 3 of, and paragraph 17 of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(7) of those Regulations applies) and regulation 3(6) of S.R. 2007 No. 154

(28)

Regulation 138 was amended by regulation 3(8) of S.R. 2000 No. 242, regulation 2(2) of, and paragraph 13 of Part II of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132, regulation 3 of, and paragraph 17 of Schedule 2 to, S.R. 2003 No. 195 (except in a case where regulation 1(7) of those Regulations applies) and regulation 3(7) of S.R. 2007 No. 154

(29)

Paragraph 14 was substituted by regulation 4(3)(a) of S.R. 2004 No. 143

(30)

Paragraph 65 was added by regulation 6(4) of S.R. 1999 No. 342 and amended by regulation 2(2) of, and paragraph 23(g) of Part II of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132

(31)

Paragraph 49 was added by regulation 6(5) of S.R. 1999 No. 342 and amended by regulation 2(2) of, and paragraph 24 of Part II of the Schedule to, S.R. 2002 No. 132

(33)

S.R. 2003 No. 28 to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations

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