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Welfare Reform Act 2009

Section 22: Payments on account

119.Section 22(2)(a) repeals section 5(1)(r) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, which enables regulations to be made providing for the making of a payment on account of benefit where it is impracticable for a claim to be made immediately, where it is impracticable for a claim to be determined immediately or where an award of benefit has been made, but it is impracticable to pay the whole immediately. Subsection (2)(b) inserts a new subsection (1B) into section 5 of that Act. It provides a regulation-making power to allow a payment on account of benefit to be made where –

  • no claim has been made or a claim has been made (including where a claim has been determined and an award made) and, in either case, a person who is or would be covered by such a claim would be in need if no payment on account was made, and

  • an award has been made but it is impracticable for the full amount of the benefit to be paid immediately.

120.The new subsection broadens the range of situations in which a payment on account may be made before an award has been made. It enables these payments to be made on a need basis rather than in situations where it is impracticable to make a claim, determine a claim or pay benefit. It provides the Secretary of State with improved flexibility to address short-term hardship.

121.New subsection (1A) of section 5 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 effectively excludes housing benefit from the new provisions about payments on account of a benefit in new subsections (1B) and (1C).  Instead new subsection (1A) re-enacts, in similar terms, the repealed power in section 5(1)(r) for housing benefit alone.

122.The new subsection (1C) enables regulations to make provision about the manner in which payments on account of benefit are to be set against subsequent payments of benefit.

123.Subsections (3) to (5) of section 22 make consequential changes to references to section 5(1)(r) in other sections of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

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