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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Victims of domestic violence
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96.—(1) Where a claimant has recently been a victim of domestic violence, and the circumstances set out in paragraph (4) apply—

(a)a work-related requirement imposed on that claimant ceases to have effect for a period of 13 consecutive weeks starting on the date of the notification referred to in paragraph (4)(a), and

(b)the Department must not impose any other work-related requirement on that claimant during that period.

(2) Where a claimant referred to in paragraph (1) is a person who falls within Article 27 of the Order (claimants subject to all work-related requirements) and is the responsible carer of a child, the Department must not impose a work search requirement or a work availability requirement on that claimant for a further period of 13 consecutive weeks beginning on the day after the period in paragraph (1)(a) expires.

(3) A person has recently been a victim of domestic violence if a period of 6 months has not expired since the violence was inflicted or threatened.

(4) The circumstances are that—

(a)the claimant notifies the Department, in such manner as it specifies, that domestic violence has been inflicted on or threatened against the claimant by the claimant’s partner or former partner or by a family member during the period of 6 months ending on the date of the notification,

(b)this regulation has not applied to the claimant for a period of 12 months before the date of the notification,

(c)on the date of the notification the claimant is not living at the same address as the person who inflicted or threatened the domestic violence, and

(d)as soon as possible, and no later than one month after the date of the notification, the claimant provides evidence from a person acting in an official capacity which demonstrates that—

(i)the claimant’s circumstances are consistent with those of a person who has had domestic violence inflicted or threatened against them during the period of 6 months ending on the date of the notification, and

(ii)the claimant has made contact with the person acting in an official capacity in relation to such an incident, which occurred during that period.

(5) In this regulation—

“coercive behaviour” means an act of assault, humiliation or intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim;

“controlling behaviour” means an act designed to make a person subordinate or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance or escape or regulating their everyday behaviour;

“domestic violence” means any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling behaviour, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse, including but not limited to—

(a)

psychological abuse;

(b)

physical abuse;

(c)

sexual abuse;

(d)

emotional abuse;

(e)

financial abuse,

regardless of gender or sexuality of the victim;

“family member” in relation to a claimant, means the claimant’s grandparent, grandchild. parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, son, step-son, son-in-law, daughter, step-daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, step-brother, brother-in-law, sister, step-sister, sister-in-law and if any of those persons is a member of a couple, the other member of the couple;

“health care professional” means a person who is a member of a profession regulated by a body mentioned in section 25(3) of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002(1);

“person acting in an official capacity” means a health care professional, a police officer, a registered social worker, the claimant’s employer, a representative of the claimant’s trade union, or any public, voluntary or charitable body which has had direct contact with the claimant in connection with domestic violence;

“registered social worker” means a person registered as a social worker in a register maintained by—

(a)

the Northern Ireland Social Care Council(2);

(b)

the Health and Care Professions Council;

(c)

the Care Council for Wales, or

(d)

the Scottish Social Services Council.

(1)

2002 c. 17; section 25(3) was amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c.14) and S.I. 2010/231.

(2)

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council was established under section 1 of the Health and Personal Services Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 c.3. (NI).

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