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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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When reduction to have effect

Start of the reduction

103.  A reduction period determined in relation to a sanctionable failure takes effect from—

(a)the first day of the assessment period in which the Department determines that the amount of the award is to be reduced under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) (but see also regulation 104(2))(reduction period to continue where award terminates)),

(b)if the amount of the award of universal credit for the assessment period referred to in paragraph (a) is not reduced in that period, the first day of the next assessment period, or

(c)if the amount of the award for the assessment period referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) is already subject to a reduction because of a previous sanctionable failure, the first day in respect of which the amount of the award is no longer subject to that reduction.

Reduction period to continue where award terminates

104.—(1) If an award of universal credit terminates while there is an outstanding reduction period, the period continues to run as if a daily reduction were being applied and if the claimant becomes entitled to a new award (whether as a single or joint claimant) before that period expires, that award is subject to a reduction for the remainder of the total outstanding reduction period.

(2) If an award of universal credit terminates before the Department determines that the amount of the award is to be reduced under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) in relation to a sanctionable failure and that determination is made after the claimant becomes entitled to a new award the reduction period in relation to that failure is to have effect for the purposes of paragraph (1) as if that determination had been made on the day before the previous award terminated.

Suspension of a reduction where fraud penalty applies

105.—(1) A reduction in the amount of an award under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) is to be suspended for any period during which the provisions of section 5B, section 6 or section 8 of the Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001(1) (loss of benefit in case of conviction, penalty or caution for benefit offence, loss of benefit for second or subsequent conviction of benefit offence and effect of offence on benefits for members of offender’s family) apply to the award.

(2) The reduction ceases to have effect on the day on which that period begins and begins again on the day after that period ends.

When a reduction is to be terminated

106.—(1) A reduction in the amount of an award under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) is to be terminated where—

(a)since the date of the most recent sanctionable failure which gave rise to a reduction, the claimant has been in paid work for a period of, or for periods amounting in total to, at least 6 months, and

(b)the claimant’s monthly earnings during that period or those periods were equal to or exceeded—

(i)the claimant’s individual threshold,

(ia)where the claimant has no individual threshold, the amount that a person would be paid for 16 hours per week at the hourly rate in regulation 4 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, converted to a monthly amount by multiplying by 52 and dividing by 12, or

(ii)if paragraph (4) of regulation 89 (threshold for an apprentice) applies, the amount applicable under that paragraph.

(2) The termination of the reduction has effect—

(a)where the date on which paragraph (1) is satisfied falls within a period of entitlement to universal credit, from the beginning of the assessment period in which that date falls, or

(b)where that date falls outside a period of entitlement to universal credit, from the beginning of the first assessment period in relation to any subsequent award.

(3) A claimant who is treated as having earned income in accordance with regulation 63 (minimum income floor) in respect of an assessment period is to be taken to have monthly earnings equal to their individual threshold in respect of any week falling within that assessment period.

(1)

2001 c. 17 (N.I.); section 5B was inserted by section 19(1) of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 c. 13 (N.I.).

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