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The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions) Order 2017

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Transitional provision: claims for housing benefit, income support or a tax credit

24.—(1) Except as provided by paragraphs (2) to (6), a person may not make a claim for housing benefit, income support or a tax credit (in the latter case, whether or not as part of a Tax Credit Act couple) on any date where, if that person made a claim for universal credit on that date (in the capacity, whether as a single person or as part of a couple, in which he or she is permitted to claim universal credit under the Universal Credit Regulations), the provisions of the 2015 Order listed in Schedule 1 would come into force under Article 4(3) and (4)(a) of this Order in relation to that claim for universal credit.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a claim for housing benefit, income support or a tax credit where, by virtue of a determination made under regulation 2A or by virtue of regulation 40 of the 2016 Transitional Regulations, the person in question would be prevented from making a claim for universal credit as referred to in that paragraph.

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a claim for housing benefit in respect of specified accommodation.

(4) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a claim for housing benefit or a tax credit where—

(a)in the case of a claim for housing benefit, the claim is made by a person who has reached the qualifying age for state pension credit, or by a person who is a member of a State Pension Credit Act couple the other member of which has reached that age;

(b)in the case of a claim for a tax credit, the claim is made by—

(i)a person who has reached the qualifying age for state pension credit;

(ii)a Tax Credits Act couple both members of which have reached, or either member of which has reached, that age; or

(iii)in a case not covered by paragraph (i), a person who is a member of a State Pension Credit Act couple where the other member of the couple has reached that age.

(5) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a claim for a tax credit where a person or persons makes or make a claim for child tax credit or working tax credit and on the date on which he or she (or they) makes or make the claim he or she (or they) is or are entitled to working tax credit or child tax credit respectively.

(6) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a claim for a tax credit where a person is or was, or persons are or were, entitled to child tax credit or working tax credit in respect of a tax year and that person or those persons makes or make (or is or are treated as making) a claim for that tax credit for the next tax year.

(7) In paragraph (5), the reference to a person being entitled to a tax credit includes where a person is treated as being entitled to a tax credit in the circumstances referred to in regulation 9 of the 2016 Transitional Regulations but as if regulation 9 were amended as follows—

(a)in paragraph (1), for “For the purposes of regulations 5(7) and 6(4)” substitute “For the purposes of Article 24(5) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions) Order 2017; and

(b)for paragraph (2)(d)(iii), substitute—

(iii)the person’s claim for child tax credit or working tax credit is made during the period of 30 days starting with the date on the notice referred to in paragraph (ii)..

(8) Subject to paragraph (9), for the purposes of this Article—

(a)a claim for housing benefit, income support or a tax credit is made by a person on the date on which he or she takes any action which results in a decision on a claim being required under the relevant Regulations; and

(b)it is irrelevant that the effect of any provision of the relevant Regulations is that, for the purpose of those Regulations, the claim is made or treated as made on a date that is earlier than the date on which that action is taken.

(9) Where under the provisions referred to in paragraph (10), a claim for housing benefit or income support is treated as made at a date that is earlier than the date on which the action referred to in paragraph (8)(a) is taken, the claim is treated as made on that earlier date.

(10) The provisions referred to are—

(a)in the case of a claim for housing benefit, regulation 81(4E), (4F), (5)(d) or (8) of the Housing Benefit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(1) or, as the case may be, regulation 62(5F), (5G), (6)(d) or (9) of the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(2)); or

(b)in the case of a claim for income support, regulation 6(1A)(b) and 6A of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987.

(11) For the purposes of this Article—

“couple” (apart from in the expressions “State Pension Credit Act couple” and “Tax Credit Act couple”) has the meaning given in Article 45 of the 2015 Order;

“housing benefit” means a housing benefit under section 129 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

“income support” means income support under section 123 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

“qualifying age for state pension credit” means the qualifying age referred to in section 1(6) of the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002(3);

“relevant Regulations” means—

(i)

in the case of a claim for housing benefit, the Housing Benefit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 or, as the case may be, the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006;

(ii)

in the case of a claim for income support, the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987;

(iii)

in the case of a claim for a tax credit, the Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002(4);

“specified accommodation” means accommodation to which one or more of sub-paragraphs (2) to (5) of paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Universal Credit Regulations applies;

“state pension credit” means state pension credit under the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002;

“State Pension Credit Act couple” means a couple as defined in section 17 of the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002(5);

“Tax Credits Act couple” means a couple as defined in section 3(5A) of the Tax Credits Act 2002(6);

“the Universal Credit Regulations” means the Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(7).

(5)

The definition of “couple” was substituted by paragraph 150(2) of Schedule 24 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33).

(6)

Subsection (5A) was inserted by section 254(1) of, and paragraph 144(1) and (3) of Schedule 24 to, the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

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