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Welfare Reform Act 2009

Section 42: Provision that may be made about direct payments

211.This section makes detailed provision about the provisions that may be included in regulations that provide for direct payments to disabled people. These regulations (which are defined as ‘direct payments regulations’) are made under section 41(2)(e). So they are merely a special type of regulations under section 41. Subsection (2) provides that direct payments regulations may–

  • specify when an authority is or is not required to comply with a request for a direct payment,

  • outline how the request for a direct payment can be made,

  • enable a disabled person to require an assessment of the amount of direct payment to which that person would be entitled, if that person was to request a direct payment,

  • require a mixture of direct payments and services to be made by an authority, should the disabled person request this,

  • make provision that displaces the function or obligation of the authority if a direct payment is made. Where a providing authority has made a direct payment under regulations made under section 41, regulations would provide that it does not remain under a statutory obligation to provide the service or services to which the payment relates.

212.Subsection (3) requires direct payments regulations to provide that where a request for a direct payment places an unreasonable financial burden on an authority it will not have a duty to comply with the request.

213.Subsection (4) enables direct payments regulations to make provision–

  • for a power to provide for authorities to make direct payments instead of providing services;

  • to prescribe conditions that the disabled person or other payee must comply with in order to receive the direct payment;

  • for authorities to terminate the making of direct payments;

  • for the authority to recover over-payments;

  • for the authority to recover payment where the individual fails to meet conditions attached to receipt of the direct payment;

  • to ensure that an authority can write off any debt arising from an overpayment;

  • for direct payments to be made to a person on behalf of the disabled person.

214.Subsection (5) specifies the types of conditions that regulations may require the disabled person or other payee to comply with. These conditions would be designed to secure that any direct payment was used for the purpose for which it was intended.

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