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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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PART 3No housing costs element for qualifying period

No housing costs element under this Schedule for qualifying period

5.—(1) An owner-occupier’s award of universal credit is not to include any amount of housing costs element calculated under this Schedule until the beginning of the assessment period that follows the assessment period in which the qualifying period ends.

(2) “Qualifying period” means a period of—

(a)in the case of a new award, 9 consecutive assessment periods in relation to which—

(i)the owner-occupier has been receiving universal credit, and

(ii)would otherwise qualify for the inclusion of an amount calculated under this Schedule in their award;

(b)in any case where an amount calculated under this Schedule has for any reason ceased to be included in the award, 9 consecutive assessment periods in relation to which the owner-occupier would otherwise qualify for the inclusion of an amount calculated under this Schedule in their award.

(3) Where, before the end of a qualifying period, an owner-occupier for any reason ceases to qualify for the inclusion of an amount calculated under this Schedule—

(a)that qualifying period stops running, and

(b)a new qualifying period starts only when the owner-occupier again meets the requirements of sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b).

Application of paragraph 5: receipt of JSA and ESA

6.—(1) This paragraph applies to any owner-occupier who immediately before the commencement of an award of universal credit is entitled to—

(a)a jobseeker’s allowance, or

(b)an employment and support allowance.

(2) In determining when the qualifying period in paragraph 5 ends in relation to the owner-occupier, any period that comprises only days on which the owner-occupier was receiving a benefit referred to in sub-paragraph (1) may be treated as if it were the whole or part of one or more assessment periods, as determined by the number of days on which any such benefit was received.

Application of paragraph 5: joint owner-occupiers ceasing to be a couple

7.—(1) This paragraph applies where—

(a)an award of universal credit to joint owner-occupiers is terminated because they cease to be a couple, and

(b)a further award is made to one of them (or to each of them), and

(c)in relation to the further award (or in relation to each further award), the occupation condition is met in respect of the same accommodation as that occupied by the joint owner-occupiers as their home.

(2) In determining when the qualifying period in paragraph 5 ends in relation to the further award (or each further award), the whole or part of any assessment period which would have counted in relation to the award that is terminated is to be carried forward and taken into account in relation to the further award (or each further award).

(3) But where, immediately before the joint owner-occupier’s award was terminated, an amount of housing costs element calculated under this Schedule was already included in the award; no qualifying period under paragraph 5 applies to the owner-occupier in relation to the commencement of the further award (or each further award).

(4) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b), it is irrelevant whether the further award—

(a)is made on a claim, or

(b)by virtue of regulation 9(6) of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 is made without a claim.

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