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The Social Security (Electronic Communications) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011

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Citation and commencement

1.  This Order may be cited as the Social Security (Electronic Communications) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011 and shall come into operation on 30th September 2011 except for Articles 2(2)(b) and 3 which shall come into operation on 1st February 2012.

Amendment of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations

2.—(1) The Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(1) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) In regulation 4ZC(2)(2) (electronic claims for benefit)—

(a)after “attendance allowance,” insert “carer’s allowance,”; and

(b)after “graduated retirement benefit,” insert “a jobseeker’s allowance,”.

(3) After regulation 32(3) (information to be given and changes to be notified) insert—

Information given electronically

32ZA.(1) Where this regulation applies a person may give any certificate, notice, information or evidence required to be given and in particular may give notice of any change of circumstances required to be notified under regulation 32 by means of any electronic communication in accordance with the provisions set out in Schedule 8D(4).

(2) This regulation applies in relation to an award of—

(a)attendance allowance;

(b)carer’s allowance;

(c)disability living allowance;

(d)an employment and support allowance;

(e)income support;

(f)a jobseeker’s allowance..

(4) In paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 8D (electronic communication)—

(a)for “attendance allowance,” substitute “, and awards of, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance,”;

(b)after “graduated retirement benefit,” insert “a jobseeker’s allowance,”; and

(c)at the end add “and in connection with awards of an employment and support allowance and income support”.

Amendment of the Jobseekers Order

3.—(1) The Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(5) is amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In Article 11 (the jobseeker’s agreement) after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) The agreement may be in electronic form and signed by means of an electronic signature (within the meaning given in section 7(2) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000(6))..

(3) In Article 12 (variation of jobseeker’s agreement) after paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) Any agreement to vary a jobseeker’s agreement may be in electronic form and signed by means of an electronic signature (within the meaning given in section 7(2) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000)..

Amendment of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations

4.—(1) The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(7) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 1 (interpretation) after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) In such cases and subject to such conditions or requirements as the Department may specify by means of a direction, any requirement imposed by or under these Regulations for a signature may be satisfied by means of an electronic signature (within the meaning given in section 7(2) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000)..

(3) After regulation 24(8) (provision of information and evidence) insert—

Information given electronically

24A.(1) A person may give any certificate, notice, information or evidence required to be given and in particular may give notice of a change of circumstances required to be notified under regulation 24 by means of an electronic communication in accordance with the provisions set out in Schedule 8D to the Claims and Payments Regulations.

(2) In this regulation “electronic communication” has the meaning given in section 4(1) of the Communications Act (Northern Ireland) 2001(9)..

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

5.  In regulation 1(2) of the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999(10) (interpretation) in the definition of “the date of notification”—

(a)omit “or” after paragraph (a); and

(b)after paragraph (b) add—

or

(c)where the notification of a decision of the Department is sent by means of an electronic communication (within the meaning given in section 4(1) of the Electronic Communications Act (Northern Ireland) 2001), the date on which the notification is sent;.

Amendment of the Social Security (Notification of Change of Circumstances) Regulations

6.—(1) The Social Security (Notification of Change of Circumstances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(11) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 3(12) (change affecting jobseeker’s allowance)—

(a)in paragraph (1) at the beginning insert “Subject to paragraph (1A),”; and

(b)after paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) Where the notice in writing referred to in paragraph (1) is given or sent by an electronic communication that notice must be given or sent in accordance with the provisions set out in Schedule 8D to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987..

(3) In regulation 5(13) (change affecting other benefit, payment or advantage)—

(a)in paragraph (1) at the beginning insert “Subject to paragraph (1A),”; and

(b)after paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) Where this paragraph applies, where the notice in writing referred to in paragraph (1) is given or sent by an electronic communication that notice must be given or sent in accordance with the provisions set out in Schedule 8D to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987.

(1B) Paragraph (1A) applies in relation to—

(a)attendance allowance;

(b)carer’s allowance;

(c)disability living allowance;

(d)an employment and support allowance;

(e)income support..

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 30th August 2011

(L.S.)

Anne McCleary

A senior officer of the Department for Social Development

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