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The Housing Benefit (General) Amendment Regulations 1993

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Statutory Instruments

1993 No.317

HOUSING, ENGLAND AND WALES

HOUSING, SCOTLAND

SOCIAL SECURITY

The Housing Benefit (General) Amendment Regulations 1993

Made

22nd February 1993

Laid before Parliament

26th February 1993

Coming into force in accordance with regulation 1(1)

The Secretary of State for Social Security, in exercise of powers conferred on him by sections 123(1)(d), 130(4), 135(1), 136(1), (3) and (5), 137(1) and (2)(h) and 175(1) to (5) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992(1) and sections 63(3), 136(2), 189(1), (3), (4) and (5) and 191 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992(2) and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, after consultation with organisations appearing to him to be representative of the authorities concerned(3), and after agreement by the Social Security Advisory Committee that proposals in respect of these Regulations should not be referred to it(4), hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.  (1)  These Regulations may be cited as the Housing Benefit (General) Amendment Regulations 1993 and shall come into force—

(a)for the purposes of this regulation and regulation 15 in so far as it relates to paragraph 4 of the Schedule on 29th March 1993;

(b)for the purposes of regulation 15 in so far as it relates to paragraph 5 of the Schedule on 1st April 1993;

(c)for all other purposes—

(i)in any case where rent is payable at intervals of one month or any other interval which is not a week or a multiple thereof, on 1st April 1993;

(ii)in any other case, on 5th April 1993.

(2) In these Regulations “the 1987 Regulations” means the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987(5).

Amendment of regulation 2 of the 1987 Regulations

2.  In regulation 2(1) of the 1987 Regulations (interpretation)—

(a)after the definition of “close relative” there shall be inserted the following definition—

“community charge benefit” means community charge benefits under Part VII of the Contributions and Benefits Act as originally enacted(6);;

(b)after the definition of “concessionary payment” there shall be inserted the following definition—

“the Contributions and Benefits Act” means the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992(7);;

(c)for the definition of “water charges”(8) there shall be substituted the following definition—

  • “water charges” means—

    (a)

    as respects England and Wales, any water and sewerage charges under Chapter I of Part V of the Water Industry Act 1991(9),

    (b)

    as respects Scotland, any water and sewerage charges under Schedule 11 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992(10),

    in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home;

Amendment of regulation 5 of the 1987 Regulations

3.  (1)  Regulation 5 of the 1987 Regulations (circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In paragraph (5)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a)—

(i)there shall be inserted at the beginning the words “for a period not exceeding 52 weeks in the case”;

(ii)for the words “and it is reasonable” there shall be substituted the words—

  • and—

    (i)

    it is reasonable;

(iii)for the words “the home; or” there shall be substituted the words—

  • the home, and

    (ii)

    he intends to return to occupy the former dwelling as his home; or;

(b)in sub-paragraph (d) for the word “unavoidable.” there shall be substituted the words “unavoidable; or”;

(c)after sub-paragraph (d) there shall be added the following sub-paragraph—

(e)in the case where a person—

(i)is treated by virtue of paragraph (6) as occupying a dwelling as his home (“the new dwelling”) and sub-paragraph (c)(i) of that paragraph applies, and

(ii)he has occupied another dwelling as his home on any day within the period of 4 weeks immediately preceding the date he moved to the new dwelling,

for a period not exceeding 4 benefit weeks immediately preceding the date on which he moved..

(3) In paragraph (7) after the words “housing benefit” on both occasions on which they occur there shall be added the words “in respect of that dwelling”.

(4) After paragraph (7) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(7A) Where a person—

(a)formerly occupied a dwelling but has left and remains absent from it through fear of violence—

(i)in the dwelling, or

(ii)by a person who was formerly a member of the family of the person first mentioned, and

(b)has a liability to make payments in respect of that dwelling which is unavoidable,

he shall be treated as occupying the dwelling as his home for a period not exceeding 4 benefit weeks..

Amendment of regulation 10 of the 1987 Regulations

4.  In regulation 10(3) of the 1987 Regulations (rent)(11) at the end of sub-paragraph (b) there shall be added the following—

  • and

    (c)

    where he is liable to make payments in respect of any service charges to which paragraph (1)(e) does not apply, but to which paragraph 2(1A) of Schedule 1 (unreasonably low service charges) applies in the particular circumstances, an amount in respect of such charges determined in accordance with paragraph 2(1A) of Schedule 1..

Amendment of regulation 12A of the 1987 Regulations

5.  In regulation 12A(8) of the 1987 Regulations (requirement to refer to rent officers)(12) in the definition of “change relating to a rent allowance” for the words “(c) or (d)” there shall be substituted the words “(c), (d) or (e) or (4)”.

Amendment of regulation 30 of the 1987 Regulations

6.  In regulation 30 of the 1987 Regulations (earnings of self-employed earners)(13)—

(a)for the word “Earnings” there shall be substituted the words—

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), “earnings”;

(b)after paragraph (1) there shall be added the following paragraph—

(2) “Earnings” shall not include any payment to which paragraph 24 ofSchedule 4 refers (payments in respect of a person accommodated with the claimant under arrangements made by a local authority or voluntary organisation)(14)..

Amendment of regulation 35 of the 1987 Regulations

7.  (1)  Regulation 35 of the 1987 Regulations (notional income)(15) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In paragraph (3)(a) for the words “ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel or eligible rent,” there shall be substituted the words “household fuel or, subject to paragraph (8), rent or ordinary clothing or footwear,”.

(3) For paragraph (8) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(8) In paragraph (3)—

(a)“rent” means eligible rent less any deductions in respect of non-dependants which fall to be made under regulation 63 (non-dependant deductions)(16);

(b)the expression “ordinary clothing or footwear” means clothing or footwear for normal daily use, but does not include school uniforms, or clothing or footwear used solely for sporting activities..

Amendment of regulation 36 of the 1987 Regulations

8.  In regulation 36(2) of the 1987 Regulations (modifications in respect of child and young person)(17) after the words “any income of that child or young person” there shall be inserted the words “, other than income consisting of any payment of maintenance whether under a court order or not,”.

Amendment of regulation 43 of the 1987 Regulations

9.  (1)  Regulation 43 of the 1987 Regulations (notional capital)(18) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In paragraph (3)(a) for the words “ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel or eligible rent,” there shall be substituted the words “household fuel or, subject to paragraph (7), rent or ordinary clothing or footwear,”.

(3) For paragraph (7) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(7) In paragraph (3)—

(a)“rent” means eligible rent less any deductions in respect of non-dependants which fall to be made under regulation 63 (non-dependant deductions)(19);

(b)the expression “ordinary clothing or footwear” means clothing or footwear for normal daily use, but does not include school uniforms, or clothing or footwear used solely for sporting activities.

Amendment of regulation 63 of the 1987 Regulations

10.  In regulation 63 of the 1987 Regulations (non-dependant deductions) in paragraph (3) for the words from “where a different amount” to the end of the paragraph there shall be substituted the words—

  • where, but for this paragraph, the amount that would fall to be deducted in respect of one member of a couple or polygamous marriage is higher than the amount (if any) that would fall to be deducted in respect of the other, or any other, member, the higher amount shall be deducted..

Amendment of Schedule 1 to the 1987 Regulations

11.  (1)  In paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to the 1987 Regulations (amount of ineligible charges)(20)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (1A) for the words “any service charge to which regulation 10(1)(e) (rent) applies and” there shall be substituted the words “any ineligible service charge”;

(b)after sub-paragraph (1A) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(1B) In sub-paragraph (1A) the expression “ineligible service charge” includes any service charge which does not qualify as a periodical payment under regulation 10(1)(e) (rent)..

Amendment of Schedule 1A to the 1987 Regulations

12.  In paragraph 2 of Schedule 1A to the 1987 Regulations (excluded tenancies)(21)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (1) for the words “(2) and (3)” there shall be substituted the words “(2) to (5)”;

(b)after sub-paragraph (3) there shall be added the following sub-paragraphs—

(4) Except where the appropriate local authority has previously applied to a rent officer pursuant to this sub-paragraph in respect of the tenancy, sub-paragraph (1) shall not apply where—

(a)subsequent to the making of the determination mentioned in that sub-paragraph there has been a rent increase in respect of the tenancy during the period beginning on 1st April 1993 and ending on 31st March 1994; and

(b)at the date of that increase the claimant was not liable to pay council tax by virtue of regulations made under section 8 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (liability to council tax in prescribed cases)(22); and

(c)the rent increase does not come within head (c) of sub-paragraph (3).

(5) In sub-paragraph (1) “determination” does not include a determination made as a result of an application to a rent officer pursuant to sub-paragraph (4)..

Amendment of Schedule 3 to the 1987 Regulations

13.  (1)  Schedule 3 to the 1987 Regulations (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of earnings)(23) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In paragraph 3(4)(c) after the words “sub-paragraph (2)” there shall be inserted the words “or (3)”.

(3) After paragraph 4(24) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

4A.  (1)  In a case to which neither paragraph 3 nor paragraph 4 applies to the claimant, and subject to sub-paragraph (2), where the claimant’s applicable amount includes an amount by way of the carer premium under Schedule 2 (applicable amounts), £15 of the earnings of the person who is, or at any time in the preceding eight weeks was, in receipt of invalid care allowance or treated in accordance with paragraph 14ZA(2)(25) of that Schedule as being in receipt of invalid care allowance.

(2) Where the carer premium is awarded in respect of the claimant and of any partner of his, their earnings shall for the purposes of this paragraph be aggregated, but the amount to be disregarded in accordance with sub-paragraph (1) shall not exceed £15 of the aggregated amount.

4B.  Where the carer premium is awarded in respect of a claimant who is a member of a couple and whose earnings are less than £15, but is not awarded in respect of the other member of the couple, and that other member is engaged in an employment—

(a)specified in paragraph 6(1), so much of the other member’s earnings as would not when aggregated with the amount disregarded under paragraph 4A exceed £15;

(b)other than one specified in paragraph 6(1), so much of the other member’s earnings from such other employment up to £10 as would not when aggregated with the amount disregarded under paragraph 4A exceed £15..

(4) In paragraph 5 for the words “paragraph 3 does not apply” there shall be substituted the words “paragraphs 3, 4A and 4B do not apply”.

(5) In paragraph 6 for the words “to which neither paragraph 3 nor 4 applies” there shall be substituted the words “where paragraphs 3, 4, 4A and 4B do not apply”.

(6) In paragraph 9 for the words “17, 18 or 27” there shall be substituted the words “17 or 18”.

Amendment of Schedule 4 to the 1987 Regulations

14.  (1)  Schedule 4 to the 1987 Regulations (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings)(26) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In paragraph 13—

(a)in sub-paragraph (2) for the words “ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel or eligible rent” there shall be substituted the words “household fuel or, subject to paragraph (5), rent or ordinary clothing or footwear,”;

(b)for sub-paragraph (5) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph—

(5) In sub-paragraph (2)—

(a)“rent” means eligible rent less any deductions in respect of non-dependants which fall to be made under regulation 63 (non-dependant deductions)(27);

(b)the expression “ordinary clothing or footwear” means clothing or footwear for normal daily use, but does not include school uniforms, or clothing or footwear used solely for sporting activities.

(3) In paragraph 15—

(a)in sub-paragraph (2)(28) for the words from “only to the extent of” to the end of the sub-paragraph there shall be substituted the words—

  • only to the extent of—

    (a)

    any mortgage repayments made in respect of the dwelling or premises in the period during which that income accrued; or

    (b)

    any council tax or water charges which the claimant is liable to pay in respect of the dwelling or premises and which are paid in the period during which that income accrued.;

(b)after sub-paragraph (2) there shall be added the following sub-paragraph—

(3) The definition of “water charges” in regulation 2(1) shall apply to sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph with the omission of the words “in so far as such charges are in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home”..

(4) Paragraph 27 (disregard of maintenance payments made by claimant) shall be omitted.

(5) After paragraph 49(29) there shall be added the following paragraphs—

50.  Any guardian’s allowance.

51.  Any council tax benefit..

Amendments consequential on the introduction of council tax benefit

15.  The Schedule to these Regulations, which contains amendments to the 1987 Regulations consequential on the abolition of community charges, the introduction of council tax and the introduction of council tax benefit in succession to community charge benefits, shall have effect.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Social Security.

Alistair Burt

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State,

Department of Social Security

22nd February 1993

Regulation 15

SCHEDULEAMENDMENT OF PROVISIONS WHICH REFER TO COMMUNITYCHARGES AND COMMUNITY CHARGE BENEFITS

1.  The provisions of the 1987 Regulations shall be further amended in accordance with the following provisions of this Schedule.

Amendment of regulation 35

2.  In regulation 35(3)(a) (notional income)(30) for the words “personal community charge, collective community charge contribution” there shall be substituted the words “council tax”.

Amendment of regulation 43

3.  In regulation 43(3)(a) (notional capital)(31) for the words “personal community charge, collective community charge contribution” there shall be substituted the words “council tax”.

Amendment of regulation 43A

4.  (1)  Regulation 43A (diminishing notional capital rule)(32) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) In paragraph (3) after sub-paragraph (b) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(bb)where the claimant has also claimed council tax benefit, the amount of any council tax benefit or any additional amount of council tax benefit to which he would have been entitled in respect of the benefit week to which paragraph (2) refers but for the application of regulation 34(1) of the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992 (notional capital)(33);.

(3) In paragraph (4)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (b) after the words “last day of the relevant week,” there shall be added the words “and sub-paragraph (bb) does not apply in respect of that benefit week,”;

(b)after sub-paragraph (b) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(bb)if the claimant would, but for regulation 34(1) of the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992, have been entitled to council tax benefit or to an additional amount of council tax benefit in respect of the benefit week which includes the last day of the relevant week, the amount which is equal to—

(i)in a case where no council tax benefit is payable, the amount to which he would have been entitled, or

(ii)in any other case, the amount equal to the additional amount of council tax benefit to which he would have been entitled;

and, for the purposes of this sub-paragraph, if the amount is in respect of a part-week, that amount shall be determined by dividing the amount of the council tax benefit to which he would have been so entitled by the number equal to the number of days in the part-week and multiplying the quotient so obtained by 7;.

(4) In paragraph (8) there shall be inserted after sub-paragraph (aa) the following sub-paragraph—

(aaa)“part-week” in paragraph (4)(bb) means a period of less than a week for which council tax benefit is allowed;

Amendment of regulation 81

5.  In regulation 81(4) (further review of determinations)(34)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (b) for the words “he has also,” there shall be substituted the words—

  • he has also—;

    (i)

(b)at the end of sub-paragraph (b) there shall be added the following—

  • or

    (ii)

    in connection with a claim for council tax benefit, requested a further review of a determination relating to council tax benefit in accordance with regulation 70 of the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992(35) (further reviews of determinations with respect to council tax benefit),;

(c)for the words “a Review Board appointed in accordance with that regulation” there shall be substituted the words “a Review Board appointed in accordance with either of those regulations”.

Amendment of Schedule 2 to the 1987 Regulations

6.  In paragraph 10 of Schedule 2 (applicable amounts)(36)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (3)(c)(i) after the words “was entitled to” there shall be added the words “council tax benefit or, as the case may be,”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (3)(c)(ii) after the words “higher pensioner premium under” there shall be added the words “paragraphs 11 and 13 of Schedule 1 to the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992(37) or, as the case may be,”.

Amendment of Schedule 3 to the 1987 Regulations

7.  In paragraph 3(7) of Schedule 3 (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of earnings)(38) for the words “housing benefit, community charge benefit or both” there shall be substituted the words “any or all of the following benefits namely housing benefit, community charge benefit or council tax benefit”.

Amendment of Schedule 4 to the 1987 Regulations

8.  (1)  Schedule 4 to the 1987 Regulations (sums to be disregarded in the calculation of income other than earnings)(39) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) In paragraph 13(2) for the words “personal community charge, collective community charge contribution” there shall be substituted the words “council tax”.

(3) Paragraph 39 shall be omitted.

(4) In paragraph 41 there shall be added at the end the words “or reduction of council tax under section 13 or, as the case may be, section 80 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (reduction of liability for council tax)(40).”.

Amendment of Schedule 5 to the 1987 Regulations

9.  (1)  Schedule 5 to the 1987 Regulations (capital to be disregarded)(41) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) Paragraph 34 shall be omitted.

(3) In paragraph 36 after the words “(reduction of liability for personal community charge)” there shall be inserted the words “or reduction of council tax under section 13 or, as the case may be, section 80 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (reduction of liability for council tax),”.

(4) After paragraph 44(42) there shall be added the following paragraph—

45.  Any council tax benefit..

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations make further amendments to the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/1971) in the following respects:

(a)they provide definitions in respect of community charge benefit and the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, and amend the definition of “water charges” (regulations 2 and 14);

(b)they further specify the circumstances in which a person is to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home, in cases of domestic violence and where a dwelling is adapted in respect of a person’s disablement needs (regulation 3);

(c)they enable authorities to substitute a higher figure for unreasonably low ineligible service charges, whether or not payment of the charges is a condition of the right to occupy the dwelling (regulations 4 and 11);

(d)with respect to applications to rent officers for a determination in relation to rent, they update the definition of “change relating to a rent allowance”, and provide for a further determination of rent in certain circumstances where a claimant does not have a personal council tax liability (regulations 5 and 12);

(e)they provide that certain payments in respect of children accommodatedwith a claimant are not to be treated as the earnings of a self-employed earner (regulation 6);

(f)they provide that when certain payments, including payments made by a third party, are used to pay the claimant’s rent, the rent to be taken into account is the claimant’s eligible rent less certain deductions in respect of non-dependants (regulations 7 and 9);

(g)they provide that where a child or young person has capital in excess of £3,000, any income of that child or young person consisting of maintenance is to be treated as income of the claimant (regulation 8);

(h)in relation to the calculation of a person’s maximum housing benefit, they specify the deduction to be made in the case of non-dependants and their partners (regulation 10);

(i)with respect to the calculation of income, they provide a disregard of guardian’s allowance and a disregard in respect of the earnings of a claimant or partner who is entitled to the carer premium, and remove the disregard of maintenance payments made by a claimant. They specify further the amount to be disregarded in relation to certain claimants entitled to the higher pensioner premium and amend the disregards in respect of charitable and voluntary payments and income arising from disregarded capital (regulations 13 and 14);

(j)they make changes consequential on the abolition of community charges, the introduction of council tax and the introduction of council tax benefit in succession to community charge benefits (regulations 14 and 15, and the Schedule).

(1)

1992 c. 4; section 137(1) is an interpretation provision and is cited because of the meaning assigned to the word “prescribed”. The power conferred by section 130(4) is extended by section 130(5).

(2)

1992 c. 5; section 191 is an interpretation provision and is cited because of the meaning assigned to the word “prescribe”.

(3)

See the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5), section 176(1).

(4)

See the Social Security Administration Act 1992, section 173(1)(b) and (7); section 173(7) defines “regulations”.

(5)

S.I. 1987/1971; the relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1989/416, 1990/127, 546, 1773 and 1775, 1991/235, 387, 1175, 1599 and 2695 and 1992/50, 432, 1101 and 2148.

(6)

1992 c. 4; Part VII of the Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 was amended by the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14), section 103 and Schedule 9, which replaced references to community charge benefit with references to council tax benefit.

(8)

The definition of “water charges” was inserted by S.I. 1990/1773.

(11)

Relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1990/546.

(12)

Regulation 12A was inserted by S.I. 1990/546.

(13)

Regulation 30 was amended by S.I. 1991/387.

(14)

Paragraph 24 of Schedule 4 was substituted by S.I. 1992/432.

(15)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/127 and 1775, 1991/1175 and 1599 and 1992/1101.

(16)

Regulation 63 was amended by S.I. 1990/546 and 1775, 1991/235 and 387 and 1992/50 and 2148.

(17)

Regulation 36 was amended by S.I. 1991/2695.

(18)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/127 and 1775, 1991/1175 and 1599 and 1992/1101.

(19)

Regulation 63 was amended by S.I. 1990/546 and 1775, 1991/235 and 387 and 1992/50 and 2148.

(20)

Paragraph 2(1A) of Schedule 1 was inserted by S.I. 1991/235.

(21)

Schedule 1A was inserted by S.I. 1990/546. Relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1991/235.

(23)

Paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 was substituted by S.I. 1989/416.

(24)

Paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 was substituted by S.I. 1990/1775.

(25)

Paragraph 14ZA of Schedule 2 was inserted by S.I. 1990/1775.

(26)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/546 and 1775 and 1991/1599.

(27)

Regulation 63 was amended by S.I. 1990/546 and 1775, 1991/235 and 387 and 1992/50 and 2148.

(28)

Paragraph 15(2) of Schedule 4 was amended by S.I. 1988/1971 and 1990/546.

(29)

Paragraphs 48 and 49 were added by S.I. 1992/432.

(30)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/127and 1775, 1991/1175and 1599and 1992/1101.

(31)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/127and 1775, 1991/1175and 1599and 1992/1101.

(32)

Relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1991/235.

(33)

S.I. 1992/1814.

(34)

Regulation 81 was amended by S.I. 1990/546.

(35)

S.I. 1992/1814.

(36)

Paragraph 10(3)(c) was added to Schedule 2 by S.I. 1990/546.

(37)

S.I. 1992/1814.

(38)

Paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 was amended by S.I. 1990/546.

(39)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971, 1990/546 and 1991/1599.

(41)

Relevant amending instruments are S.I. 1988/1971and 1990/546.

(42)

Paragraph 44 of Schedule 5 was added by S.I. 1992/432.

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