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The Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Persons unable to act

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52.—(1) Where a person (“P1”) is, or may be, entitled to benefit (whether or not a claim for benefit has been made by P1 or on P1’s behalf) but P1 is unable for the time being to act, the Department may, if all the conditions in paragraph (2) and the additional conditions in paragraph (3) are met, appoint a person (“P2”) to carry out the functions set out in paragraph (4).

(2) The conditions are that—

(a)no controller has been appointed by the High Court under Part VIII of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986(1) with power to claim or receive benefit on P1’s behalf; and

(b)no attorney with a general power, or a power to claim or receive benefit, has been appointed by P1 under the Powers of Attorney Act (Northern Ireland) 1971(2), the Enduring Powers of Attorney (Northern Ireland) Order 1987(3) or otherwise.

(3) The additional conditions are that—

(a)P2 has made a written application to the Department to be appointed; and

(b)if P2 is an individual, P2 is over the age of 18.

(4) The functions are exercising on behalf of P1 any right to which P1 may be entitled and receiving and dealing on behalf of P1 with any sums payable to P1.

(5) Anything required by these Regulations to be done by or in relation to P1 may be done by or in relation to P2 or any person mentioned in paragraph (2).

(6) Where a person has been appointed under regulation 80(3) of the Housing Benefit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(4) by a relevant authority within the meaning of those Regulations to act on behalf of another in relation to a benefit claim or award, the Department may, if the person so appointed agrees, treat that person as if the Department had appointed that person under paragraph (1).

(7) A direct credit transfer under regulation 41 into the account of P2 or any person mentioned in paragraph (2), or the receipt by such a person of a payment made by some other means, is sufficient discharge for the Department for any sum paid.

(8) An appointment under paragraph (1) or (6) comes to an end if—

(a)the Department at any time revokes it;

(b)P2 resigns P2’s office having given one month’s notice in writing to the Department of an intention to do so; or

(c)the Department is notified that any condition in paragraph (2) is no longer met.

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