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The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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PART 3CONDITIONS OF ENTITLEMENT

Conditions relating to national insurance and relevant earnings

8.—(1) A claimant’s relevant earnings for the purposes of paragraph 1(2)(a) of Schedule 1 to the Act (employment and support allowance: conditions relating to national insurance)(1) are the total amount of the claimant’s earnings equal to the lower earnings limit for the base tax year.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), earnings which exceed the lower earnings limit are to be disregarded.

Relaxation of the first contribution condition

9.—(1) A claimant who satisfies any of the conditions in paragraph (2) is to be taken to satisfy the first contribution condition if—

(a)the claimant paid Class 1 or Class 2 contributions before the relevant benefit week in respect of any one tax year; and

(b)the claimant has—

(i)earnings equal to the lower earnings limit in that tax year on which primary Class 1 contributions have been paid or treated as paid which in total, and disregarding any earnings which exceed the lower earnings limit for that year, are not less than that limit multiplied by 26, or

(ii)earnings factors in that tax year derived from Class 2 contributions multiplied by 26.

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) are that the claimant—

(a)was entitled to a carer’s allowance in the last complete tax year immediately preceding the relevant benefit year;

(b)had been—

(i)engaged in qualifying remunerative work (which has the meaning given by Part 1 of the Tax Credits Act) for a period of more than 2 years immediately before the first day of the period of limited capability for work, and

(ii)entitled to working tax credit where the disability element or the severe disability element of working tax credit specified in regulation 20(1)(b) or (f) of the Working Tax Credit (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002(2) was included in the award;

(c)in respect of any week in any tax year preceding the relevant benefit year—

(i)is entitled to be credited with earnings or contributions in accordance with regulation 9D of the Social Security (Credits) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1975(3) (credits for certain periods of imprisonment or detention in legal custody), or

(ii)would have been so entitled had an application to the Department been made for the purpose of that regulation; or

(d)in respect of any week in the last complete tax year preceding the relevant benefit year, is entitled to be credited with earnings in accordance with regulation 9E of the Social Security (Credits) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1975(4) (credits for certain spouses and civil partners of members of Her Majesty’s forces).

Condition relating to youth – claimants aged 20 or over but under 25

10.—(1) For the purposes of paragraph 4(1)(a) of Schedule 1 to the Act, a claimant who satisfies the conditions specified in paragraph 2 falls within a prescribed case.

(2) The conditions are that the claimant—

(a)registered on a course of—

(i)full-time advanced or secondary education, or

(ii)training,

at least 3 months before attaining the age of 20; and

(b)not more than one academic term immediately after registration attended one or more such courses in respect of a period referred to in paragraph (3).

(3) The period mentioned in sub-paragraph 2(b) is a period which—

(a)began on or before a day at least 3 months before the day the claimant attained the age of 20; and

(b)ended no earlier than the beginning of the last 2 complete tax years before the relevant benefit year which would have applied if the claimant was entitled to an employment and support allowance having satisfied the first contribution condition and the second contribution condition.

(4) For the purposes of this regulation a claimant is to be treated as attending a course on any day on which the course is interrupted by an illness or domestic emergency.

(5) In this regulation—

“full-time” includes part-time where the person’s disability prevents attendance at a full-time course;

“secondary education” means a course of education below a course of advanced education by attendance—

(a)

at an establishment recognised by the Department—

(i)

as being a university, college or school, or

(ii)

as comparable to a university, college or school; or

(b)

at an establishment that is not mentioned in paragraph (a) where the Department is satisfied that the education is equivalent to that given in an establishment recognised—

(i)

as being a university, college or school, or

(ii)

as comparable to a university, college or school.

(6) A claimant is to be treated as not having limited capability for work on a day which is not, for the purposes of paragraph 4(1)(d)(ii) of Schedule 1 to the Act (period of 196 consecutive days preceding the relevant period of limited capability for work), part of a period of consecutive days of limited capability for work.

Condition relating to youth – previous claimants

11.—(1) Paragraph 4(1)(a) of Schedule 1 to the Act does not apply to a claimant—

(a)who has previously ceased to be entitled to an employment and support allowance, entitlement to which was as a result of satisfying the condition set out in sub-paragraph (1) of that paragraph;

(b)whose previous entitlement had not been ended by a decision which embodied a determination (other than a determination in the circumstances applicable to a claimant under paragraph(2)(a)) that the claimant did not have limited capability for work;

(c)in relation to whom regulation 86 (linking period) does not apply;

(d)who is aged 20 or over or, where regulation 10 would otherwise apply to the person, aged 25 or over; and

(e)to whom paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This paragraph applies to a claimant—

(a)whose previous entitlement to an employment and support allowance ended only with a view to that person taking up employment or training;

(b)whose earnings factor from an employment or series of employments pursued in the period from the end of the previous entitlement to the beginning of the period of limited capability for work, was below the lower earnings limit multiplied by 25 in any of the last 3 complete tax years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year; and

(c)who—

(i)in respect of the last 2 complete tax years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year has either paid or been credited with earnings equivalent in each of those years to the year’s lower earnings limit multiplied by 50, of which at least one such payment or credit, in the last complete tax year, was in respect of the disability element or severe disability element of working tax credit, or

(ii)makes a claim for an employment and support allowance within the period of 12 weeks after the day on which the last employment referred to in sub-paragraph (b) ceased.

Condition relating to youth – residence or presence

12.—(1) The conditions prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 4(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act as to residence or presence in Northern Ireland are that the claimant—

(a)is ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland;

(b)is not a person subject to immigration control within the meaning of section 115(9) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999(5) or is a person to whom paragraph (3) applies;

(c)is present in Northern Ireland; and

(d)has been present in Northern Ireland for a period of, or for periods amounting in aggregate to, not less than 26 weeks in the 52 weeks immediately preceding the relevant benefit week.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a claimant is to be treated as being resident and present in Northern Ireland where the claimant is absent from Northern Ireland by reason only of being—

(a)the spouse, civil partner, son, daughter, father, father-in-law, mother or mother-in-law of, and living with, a member of Her Majesty’s forces who is abroad in that capacity; or

(b)abroad in the capacity of being an aircraft worker or mariner.

(3) This paragraph applies where a person is—

(a)a member of a family of a national of an European Economic Area state;

(b)a person who is lawfully working in Northern Ireland and is a national of a State with which the European Union has concluded an agreement under Article 217 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union providing, in the field of social security, for the equal treatment of workers who are nationals of the signatory State and their families;

(c)a person who is a member of a family of, and living with, a person specified in sub-paragraph (b); or

(d)a person who has been given leave to enter, or remain in, the United Kingdom by the Secretary of State upon an undertaking by another person or persons pursuant to the immigration rules within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971(6) ) to be responsible for that person’s maintenance and accommodation.

(4) A person is to be treated as having satisfied the residence or presence conditions in paragraph (1) throughout a period of limited capability for work where those conditions are satisfied on the first day of that period of limited capability for work.

(5) In this regulation—

“aircraft worker” means a person who is, or has been, employed under a contract of service either as a pilot, commander, navigator or other member of the crew of any aircraft, or in any other capacity on board any aircraft where—

(a)

the employment in that other capacity is for the purposes of the aircraft or its crew or of any passengers or cargo or mail carried on that aircraft; and

(b)

the contract is entered into in the United Kingdom with a view to its performance (in whole or in part) while the aircraft is in flight,

but does not include a person who is in employment as a member of Her Majesty’s forces;

“mariner” means a person who is, or has been, in employment under a contract of service either as a master or member of the crew of any ship or vessel, or in any other capacity on board any ship or vessel where—

(a)

the employment in that other capacity is for the purposes of that ship or vessel or its crew or any passengers or cargo or mail carried by the ship or vessel; and

(b)

the contract is entered into in the United Kingdom with a view to its performance (in whole or part) while the ship or vessel is on its voyage,

but does not include a person who is in employment as a member of Her Majesty’s forces.

(6) In the definition of “mariner” in paragraph (5), “passenger” means any person carried on a ship or vessel except—

(a)a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship or vessel on the business of the ship or vessel; or

(b)a person on board the ship or vessel either in pursuance of an obligation to carry shipwrecked, distressed or other persons, or by reason of any circumstance that neither the master nor the owner nor the charterer (if any) could have prevented or forestalled.

Condition relating to youth – full-time education

13.—(1) For the purposes of paragraph 4(1)(b) of Schedule 1 to the Act, a claimant is to be treated as receiving full-time education for any period during which the claimant—

(a)is at least 16 years old but under the age of 19; and

(b)attends a course of education for 21 hours or more a week.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), in calculating the number of hours a week during which a claimant attends a course, no account is to be taken of any instruction or tuition which is, in the opinion of the Department, not suitable for persons of the same age who do not have a disability.

(3) In determining the duration of a period of full-time education under paragraph (1) any temporary interruption of that education may be disregarded.

(4) A claimant who is 19 years of age or over is not to be treated for the purposes of paragraph 4(1)(b) of Schedule 1 to the Act as receiving full-time education.

Modification of the relevant benefit year

14.—(1) Where paragraph (2) applies, paragraph 3(1)(f) of Schedule 1 to the Act has effect as if the “relevant benefit year” were any benefit year which includes all or part of the period of limited capability for work which includes the relevant benefit week.

(2) This paragraph applies where a claimant has made a claim for employment and support allowance but does not satisfy—

(a)the first contribution condition;

(b)the second contribution condition; or

(c)either contribution condition,

but would satisfy both of those conditions if the modified definition of “relevant benefit year” provided in paragraph (1) applied.

(1)

Paragraph 1(2) was substituted by section 12 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

(3)

S.R. 1975 No. 113; regulation 9D was inserted by regulation 2 of S.R. 2001 No. 88

(4)

Regulation 9E was inserted by regulation 2(3) of S.R. 2010 No. 109

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