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The Social Security (Incapacity Benefit Work-focused Interviews) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

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Failure to take part in a work-focused interview

7.—(1) A relevant claimant who is required to take part in a work-focused interview but fails to do so must show good cause for that failure within 5 working days of the date on which the designated authority gives notification of that failure.

(2) In determining whether a relevant claimant has shown good cause for a failure to take part in a work-focused interview, the matters to be taken into account include—

(a)that the relevant claimant misunderstood the requirement to take part in the work-focused interview due to any learning, language or literacy difficulties of the relevant claimant or any misleading information given to the relevant claimant by the designated authority;

(b)that the relevant claimant had transport difficulties and that no reasonable alternative was available;

(c)that the relevant claimant was attending an interview with an employer with a view to remaining in or obtaining employment;

(d)that the relevant claimant was pursuing employment opportunities as a self-employed earner;

(e)that the relevant claimant was attending a medical or dental appointment and that it would have been unreasonable in the circumstances to re-arrange the appointment;

(f)that the relevant claimant was accompanying another person for whom the claimant has caring responsibilities to a medical or dental appointment and that it would have been unreasonable for that other person to re-arrange the appointment;

(g)that the relevant claimant, a dependant or another person for whom the relevant claimant provides care suffered an accident, sudden illness or relapse of a physical or mental health condition;

(h)that the relevant claimant was attending the funeral of a relative or close friend on the day fixed for the work-focused interview;

(i)that the physical or mental condition of the relevant claimant made it impracticable to attend at the time and place fixed for the work-focused interview;

(j)that the established customs and practices of the religion to which the relevant claimant belongs prevented attendance on the day or at the time fixed for the work-focused interview;

(k)any other matter which the designated authority considers appropriate.

(3) If the designated authority determines that a relevant claimant has failed to take part in a work-focused interview and good cause has not been shown for that failure within 5 working days of the date on which the designated authority gives notification of that failure, the designated authority shall make a relevant decision for the purposes of section 2B of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (supplementary provisions relating to work-focused interviews).

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