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The Social Security (Housing Costs Special Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Social Security (Housing Costs Special Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 and, subject to paragraph (2), shall come into operation on 5th January 2010.

(2) Regulations 4, 5 and 6(a), in so far as they relate to a particular person, shall come into operation on the first day of the first benefit week to commence for that person on or after 5th January 2010.

(3) In these Regulations—

“benefit week” in paragraph (2) has the same meaning as in regulation 1(4) of the principal Regulations;

“the principal Regulations” means the Social Security (Housing Costs Special Arrangements) (Amendment and Modification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008(1).

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

Amendment of regulation 3 of the principal Regulations

2.  In regulation 3(3) and (4) (application) of the principal Regulations for “he or she” in both places where it occurs substitute “that person”.

Amendment of regulation 5 of the principal Regulations

3.  In regulation 5(a) (modification of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations) of the principal Regulations in sub-paragraph (3)(a) of the new paragraph 4A (housing costs: limitation applicable to qualifying loans) to be treated as inserted in the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(3) omit “or her”.

Amendment of regulation 8 of the principal Regulations

4.  For regulation 8 (application and interpretation) of the principal Regulations substitute—

8.(1) This Part applies on and after 5th January 2010 to a person (“C”) who—

(a)claims a relevant benefit after 4th January 2009, and

(b)satisfies any of the following conditions.

(2) The first condition is that Part 2 applied to C at any time.

(3) The second condition is that this Part (as it has effect on and after 5th January 2010) applied to C in relation to a previous award.

(4) The third condition is that—

(a)neither C nor C’s partner has been awarded a relevant benefit as the result of an earlier claim (whether the award was made before or on or after 5th January 2009);

(b)neither C nor C’s partner is in receipt of state pension credit before the date on which C’s claim is made or treated as made, and

(c)C does not fall to be treated under a linking rule as being in continuous receipt of the benefit to which C’s claim relates in respect of a period which begins on or before 4th January 2009 and which ends immediately before the date on which C’s claim is made or is treated as made.

(5) The fourth condition is that—

(a)C is not in receipt of a relevant benefit immediately before the date on which a claim made by C after 4th January 2009 is made or treated as made;

(b)neither C nor C’s partner is in receipt of state pension credit before that claim is made or treated as made;

(c)C or C’s partner was awarded a relevant benefit as the result of a claim made or treated as made before that claim, and

(d)C does not fall to be treated under a linking rule as being in continuous receipt of a relevant benefit during the period which falls immediately between the date on which a claim to which this provision relates is made or treated as made and the last period to occur before that date in respect of which C was in receipt of a relevant benefit (whether as a single person or as a member of a couple or polygamous marriage).

(6) The fifth condition is that—

(a)C or C’s partner is in receipt of state pension credit before the date on which any claim for a relevant benefit made by C or C’s partner after 4th January 2009 is made or treated as made, and

(b)none of the following provisions apply in relation to any such claim—

(i)paragraph 1A(1A)(4) (previous entitlement to income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or state pension credit) of Schedule 3 (housing costs) to the Income Support Regulations;

(ii)paragraph 1A(1ZA)(5) or (1B)(6) (previous entitlement to income support, income-related employment and support allowance or state pension credit) of Schedule 2 (housing costs) to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations;

(iii)paragraph 3(2)(7) (previous entitlement to other income-related benefits) of Schedule 6 (housing costs) to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations.

(7) In this regulation—

a “linking rule” means a provision of—

(a)

paragraph 14 (linking rule) of Schedule 3 (housing costs) to the Income Support Regulations;

(b)

paragraph 13 (linking rule) of Schedule 2 (housing costs) to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations; or (as the case may be)

(c)

paragraph 15 (linking rules) of Schedule 6 (housing costs) to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations;

“partner” has the same meaning as in regulation 1(2)(8) (citation, commencement and interpretation) of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations..

Amendment of Regulation 10 of the principal Regulations

5.  In regulation 10 (modification of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations) of the principal Regulations for paragraph (b) substitute—

(b)after paragraph 4(9) (housing costs not met) there were inserted—

Housing costs: limitation applicable to qualifying loans

4A.(1) Except as mentioned below, no amount may be met in respect of housing costs under paragraph 14 or 15 after the claimant has been in receipt of housing costs under either or both of those paragraphs (“relevant housing costs”) for a cumulative total of 104 weeks, beginning on or after 5th January 2009.

(2) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) apply for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1).

(3) No week in which the appropriate amount specified in paragraph 10(4) is £100,000 in relation to the claimant is to count towards the 104 week total.

(4) Where sub-paragraph (5) applies to the claimant, relevant housing costs awarded to him in respect of a previous award of a jobseeker’s allowance are to be disregarded.

(5) This sub-paragraph applies to the claimant where he does not fall to be treated under paragraph 13 (linking rule) as being in receipt of a jobseeker’s allowance for a continuous period beginning with the first day of the last period in respect of which he was not in receipt of a jobseeker’s allowance and ending immediately before his most recent claim is made or is treated as made.

(6) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply where—

(a)the claimant or his partner or, if the claimant is a member of a joint-claim couple, the other member of the couple, was entitled to income support or an employment and support allowance before one of them becomes entitled to a jobseeker’s allowance, and

(b)12 weeks or less has elapsed since the last day of that entitlement and the first day of entitlement to a jobseeker’s allowance...

Amendment of regulation 12 of the principal Regulations

6.  In regulation 12 (modifications relating to certain persons who claim State Pension Credit) of the principal Regulations—

(a)in paragraph (1)(c) for “Part 2 or 3 applies” substitute—

(i)Part 2 applies, or

(ii)Part 3 (as it has effect, in relation to the person or that person’s partner, on and after 5th January 2010) applies or would have applied had the person claiming state pension credit remained entitled to a relevant benefit.;

(b)in paragraph (1)(c), (d) and (e) for “his or her” substitute “that person’s”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 17th December 2009

(L.S.)

Anne McCleary

A senior officer of the Department for Social Development

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