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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Conditions for hardship payments

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111.—(1) The Department must make a hardship payment to a single claimant or to joint claimants only where—

(a)the claimant in respect of whose sanctionable failure the award has been reduced under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) is aged 18 or over,

(b)the single claimant or each joint claimant has met any compliance condition specified by the Department under regulation 101(2)(a)(i),

(c)the single claimant or either joint claimant completes and submits an application—

(i)approved for the purpose by the Department, or in such other form as it accepts as sufficient, and

(ii)in such manner as the Department determines,

(d)the single claimant or either joint claimant furnishes such information or evidence as the Department may require, in such manner as it determines,

(e)the single claimant or each joint claimant accepts that any hardship payments that are paid are recoverable,

(f)the Department is satisfied that the single claimant or each joint claimant has complied with all the work-related requirements that they were required to comply with in the 7 days preceding the day on which the claimant or joint claimants submitted an application in accordance with sub-paragraph (c);

(g)the Department is satisfied that the single claimant or each joint claimant is in hardship, and

(h)the daily reduction rate in regulation 108(1) applies for the purposes of the reduction in respect of the claimant under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions) .

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(g) a single claimant or joint claimants must be considered as being in hardship only where—

(a)they cannot meet their immediate and most basic and essential needs, specified in paragraph (3), or the immediate and most basic and essential needs of a child or qualifying young person for whom the single claimant or either of the joint claimants is responsible, only because the amount of their award has been reduced—

(i)under Article 31 or 32 of the Order (higher-level or other sanctions), by the daily reduction rate set out in regulation 108(1), or

(ii)by the daily reduction rate prescribed in regulations made under section 5B(5A), 6(2A) or 8(2A) of the Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001(loss of benefit in case of conviction, penalty or caution for benefit offence, loss of benefit for commission of benefit offence and effect of offence on benefits for members of offender’s family) which is equivalent to the rate referred to in paragraph (i),

(b)they have made every effort to access alternative sources of support to meet, or partially meet, such needs, and

(c)they have made every effort to cease to incur any expenditure which does not relate to such needs.

(3) The needs referred to in paragraph (2) are—

(a)accommodation;

(b)heating;

(c)food;

(d)hygiene.

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