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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Assessment periods

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22.—(1) An assessment period is a period of one month beginning with the first date of entitlement and each subsequent period of one month during which entitlement subsists.

(2) Where regulation 20 (waiting days) applies, the first day of entitlement for the purposes of paragraph (1) is the first day after expiry of the 7 days referred to in paragraph (1) of that regulation.

(3) Each assessment period begins on the same day of each month except as follows—

(a)if the first date of entitlement falls on the 31st day of a month, each assessment period begins on the last day of the month, and

(b)if the first date of entitlement falls on the 29th or 30th day of a month, each assessment period will begin on the 29th or 30th day of the month (as above) except in February when it begins on the 27th day or, in a leap year, the 28th day.

(4) Where a new award is made to a single person without a claim by virtue of regulation 8(6)(a) or (10) of the Claims and Payments Regulations (old award has ended when the claimant ceased to be a member of a couple) each assessment period for the new award begins on the same day of each month as the assessment period for the old award.

(5) Where a new award is made to members of a couple jointly without claim by virtue of regulation 8(6)(b) or (7) of the Claims and Payments Regulations (two previous awards have ended when the claimants formed a couple) each assessment period for the new award begins on the same day of each month as the assessment period for whichever of the old awards ended earlier.

(6) Where a claim is treated as made by virtue of regulation 8(8) of the Claims and Payments Regulations, (old award ended when a claimant formed a couple with a person not entitled to universal credit) each assessment period in relation to the new award begins on the same day of each month as the assessment period for the old award.

(7) Where a claim is made by a single person or members of a couple jointly and the claimant (or either joint claimant) meets the following conditions—

(a)the claimant was previously entitled to an award of universal credit the last day of which fell within the 6 months preceding the date on which the claim is made, and

(b)during that 6 months—

(i)the claimant has continued to meet the basic conditions in Article 9 of the Order (disregarding the requirement to have accepted a claimant commitment and any temporary period of absence from Northern Ireland that would be disregarded during a period of entitlement to universal credit), and

(ii)the claimant was not excluded from entitlement by regulation 19 (restrictions on entitlement - prisoners etc.),

each assessment period for the new award begins on the same day of each month as the assessment period for the old award or, if there was an old award in respect of each joint claimant, the assessment period that ends earlier in relation to the date on which the claim is made.

(8) For the purposes of this regulation it does not matter if at the beginning of the first assessment period of the new award, the following persons do not meet the basic conditions in Article 9(1)(a) and (c) of the Order (at least 18 years old and in Northern Ireland) or if they are excluded from entitlement under regulation 19 (restrictions on entitlement – prisoners etc.) provided they meet those conditions (and are not so excluded) at the end of that assessment period—

(a)in a case to which paragraph (6) applies, the member of the couple who was not entitled to universal credit, or

(b)in a case to which paragraph (7) applies, the member of the couple who does not meet the conditions mentioned in that paragraph.

(9) In this regulation “the Claims and Payments Regulations” means the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(1).

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