New paragraph 9A of Part 3 of Schedule 5 to the Courts Act 2003
319.Paragraph 9A empowers a designated officer in a magistrates’ court to ask for information about a person’s benefit status from the Secretary of State, in order to assist a court in deciding whether to make an application for benefits deductions. A person’s benefit status consists of the particular benefit of which he is in receipt, which deductions apply and how much money is finally received after those deductions have been made (paragraph 9C). It also allows certain other information, such as name and address, to be obtained. This enables the person in respect of whom the request is made to be identified.