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Social Security Fraud Act 2001

Clause  9: Effect of offence on benefits for members of offender’s family

124.This clause allows the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations that certain benefits shall be lost or reduced where a member of an offender’s family claims benefit in respect of the offender during the period of disqualification.

125.Subsection (1) prescribes the income-related benefits to which the clause relates.

126.Subsection (2) prescribes the cases in respect of which such regulations may be made under this clause. These are cases where a member of the offender’s family becomes entitled to, and would be paid, one of the benefits listed in subsection (1) during the disqualification period and entitlement to, or the amount of that benefit, is determined by reference to the offender.

127.Subsection (3), as in clause 7(3), prescribes that where the offender’s family member is entitled to Income Support, regulations may be made reducing his applicable amount in the prescribed manner. The intention is that the reduction will be similar to that which will apply in Jobseeker's Allowance cases where hardship is established.

128.Subsection (4) prescribes that where the offender’s family member is entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance, regulations may be made reducing the rate of the allowance providing that it shall only be payable on compliance with certain obligations or the provision of certain information. The broad intent is that the partner may receive any allowances in respect of themselves and their dependants but any personal allowance payable for the offender will be withdrawn during the prescribed period.

129.Subsection (5), as in clause 7(5), prescribes that where the offender’s family member is entitled to Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, regulations may be made reducing the rate of the benefit and providing that benefit shall only be payable in prescribed circumstances. The intention is that where an underlying entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Support remains, either for the offender, partner or any dependants, full Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit will remain payable. Where these benefits are not payable, the Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit entitlement will be reduced by a sum specified in regulations.

130.Subsection (6) provides that in the event of a successful appeal against either of the convictions that resulted in the imposition of a sanction, then all payments that would have been made but for the sanction are to be made.

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