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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Temporary absence of member of renter’s extended benefit unit
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10.—(1) A member of the renter’s extended benefit unit who is temporarily absent from the accommodation occupied by the renter is to be included in a determination of the number of bedrooms to which the renter is entitled (“relevant determination”) in the circumstances specified in sub-paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) In the case of a child or qualifying young person the circumstances specified in this sub-paragraph are that the relevant determination relates to any time—

(a)during the first 6 months of the absence of a child or qualifying young person for whom the renter is treated as not being responsible in accordance with regulation 4(6)(a) (child or qualifying young person looked after by an authority) where, immediately before the authority started looking after them, the child or qualifying young person was included in the renter’s extended benefit unit and the renter’s award included the housing costs element,

(b)during the first 6 months of the absence of a child or qualifying young person for whom the renter is treated as not being responsible in accordance with regulation 4(6)(b) (child or qualifying young person is a prisoner) where—

(i)immediately before becoming a prisoner, the child or qualifying young person was included in the renter’s extended benefit unit and the renter’s award included the housing costs element, and

(ii)the child or qualifying young person has not been sentenced to a term in custody that is expected to extend beyond that 6 months, or

(c)before the renter or joint renter ceases to be responsible for a temporarily absent child or qualifying young person in accordance with regulation 4(7) (absence exceeding specified duration).

(3) In the case of a renter, the circumstances specified in this sub-paragraph are that the relevant determination relates to any time when—

(a)the temporary absence from Northern Ireland of the renter is disregarded in accordance with regulation 11(1) or (2) (temporary absence from Northern Ireland), or

(b)the renter is a prisoner to whom regulation 19(2) (existing award includes housing costs when person becomes a prisoner) applies.

(4) In the case of a non-dependant, the circumstances specified in this sub-paragraph are that—

(a)the relevant determination relates to any time during a period specified in sub-paragraph (5),

(b)immediately before the start of that period, the non-dependant was included in the renter’s extended benefit unit and, in the circumstances specified in sub-paragraph (5)(a) to (c), the renter’s award included the housing costs element.

(5) The specified periods are—

(a)the first month of the non-dependant’s temporary absence from Northern Ireland and, if the circumstances of the non-dependant are such as would be disregarded for the purposes of regulation 11(2) (death of a close relative), a further one month;

(b)the first 6 months of the non-dependant’s temporary absence from Northern Ireland in the circumstances described in regulation 11(3)(a) (absence solely in connection with treatment for illness or physical or mental impairment);

(c)the first 6 months that the non-dependant is a prisoner where the non-dependant has not been sentenced to a term in custody that is expected to extend beyond that 6 months;

(d)any period during which a non-dependant who is the son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter of a renter or joint renters is a member of the armed forces away on operations.

(6) Any non-dependant who is temporarily absent from the accommodation occupied by the renter in circumstances other than those specified in sub-paragraphs (4) and (5) is not to be treated as being a member of the renter’s extended benefit unit if that absence exceeds, or is expected to exceed, 6 months.

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