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The Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001

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Application of Part and meaning of “couple in hardship"F20F21F22F23F24F25F26F27E+W+S

11.—(1) This Part of these Regulations applies in respect of any part of the disqualification period when section 8(2) of the Act would otherwise apply.

(2) In this Part of these Regulations, a “couple in hardship" means, for the purposes of [F1regulation 12], a joint-claim couple, other than a couple to whom paragraph (4) or (5) applies, who are claiming a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance jointly where at least one member of that couple is an offender and where—

(a)[F2at least one member of the joint-claim couple is a woman who is pregnant] and the Secretary of State is satisfied that, unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid, she will suffer hardship;

(b)one or both members of the couple are members of a polygamous marriage, one member of the marriage is pregnant and the Secretary of State is satisfied that, unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid, she will suffer hardship;

(c)the award of a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance includes, or would, if a claim for a jobseeker’s allowance from the couple were to succeed, have included in their applicable amount a disability premium and the Secretary of State is satisfied that, unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid, the member of the couple who would have caused the disability premium to be applicable to the couple would suffer hardship;

(d)either member of the couple suffers from a chronic medical condition which results in functional capacity being limited or restricted by physical impairment and the Secretary of State is satisfied that—

(i)the suffering has already lasted or is likely to last, for not less than 26 weeks; and

(ii)unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid, the probability is that the health of the person suffering would, within two weeks of the Secretary of State making his decision, decline further than that of a normally healthy adult and the member of the couple who suffers from that condition would suffer hardship;

(e)either member of the couple, or where a member of that couple is married to more than one person under a law which permits polygamy, one member of that marriage, devotes a considerable portion of each week to caring for another person who—

(i)is in receipt of an attendance allowance[F3, the care component of disability living allowance at one of the two higher rates prescribed under section 72(4) of the Benefits Act[F4, armed forces independence payment] or the daily living component of personal independence payment at the standard or enhanced rate in accordance with section 78 of the 2012 Act];

(ii)has claimed either attendance allowance[F5, disability living allowance[F6, armed forces independence payment] or personal independence payment] but only for so long as the claim has not been determined, or for 26 weeks from the date of claiming, whichever is the earlier; F7...

(iii)has claimed either attendance allowance or disability living allowance and has an award of either attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance at one of the two higher rates prescribed under section 72(4) of the Benefits Act for a period commencing after the date on which that claim was made, F8...

[F9(iv) has claimed personal independence payment and has an award of the daily living component of personal independence payment at the standard or enhanced rate in accordance with section 78 of the 2012 Act for a period commencing after the date on which that claim was made, [F10 or ]

(v)has claimed armed forces independence payment and has an award for a period commencing after the date on which that claim was made,]

and the Secretary of State is satisfied, after taking account of the factors set out in paragraph (6) in so far as they are appropriate to the particular circumstances of the case, that the person providing the care will not be able to continue doing so unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid; or

(f)section 16 of the Jobseekers Act applies to either member of the couple by virtue of a direction issued by the Secretary of State, except where the member of the joint-claim couple to whom the direction applies does not satisfy the requirements of section 1(2)(a) to (c) of that Act;

(g)section 3A(1)(e)(ii) of the Jobseekers Act F11 (member of joint-claim couple under the age of 18) applies to either member of the couple and the Secretary of State is satisfied that unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid, the couple will suffer hardship; or

(h)one or both members of the couple is a person—

(i)who, pursuant to the Children Act 1989 F12 [F13or the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014], was being looked after by a local authority;

(ii)with whom the local authority had a duty, pursuant to [F14either of those Acts], to take reasonable steps to keep in touch; or

(iii)who, pursuant to [F15either of those Acts], qualified for advice or assistance from a local authority,

but in respect of whom head (i), (ii) or (iii) above, as the case may be, had not applied for a period of 3 years or less as at the date on which the requirements of regulation 15 are complied with; and

(iv)who, as at the date on which the requirements of regulation 15 are complied with, is under the age of 21.

(3) Except in a case to which paragraph (4) or (5) applies, a joint-claim couple shall, for the purposes of [F16regulation 13], be deemed to be a couple in hardship where the Secretary of State is satisfied, after taking account of the factors set out in paragraph (6) in so far as they are appropriate to the particular circumstances of the case, that the couple will suffer hardship unless a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance is paid.

(4) In paragraphs (2) and (3), a joint-claim couple shall not be deemed to be a “couple in hardship"—

(a)where one member of the couple is entitled to income support or falls within a category of persons prescribed for the purposes of section 124(1)(e) of the Benefits Act; or

(b)during a period in respect of which it has been determined that both members of the couple are subject [F17or are to be treated as subject] to sanctions for the purposes of section [F188 or] 20A of the Jobseekers Act ([F18attendance, information and evidence;] denial or reduction of joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance).

(5) Paragraph (2)(e) shall not apply in a case where the person being cared for resides in a [F19care home, an Abbeyfield Home or an independent hospital].

(6) Factors which, for the purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary of State is to take into account in determining whether a joint-claim couple will suffer hardship are—

(a)the presence in the joint-claim couple of a person who satisfies the requirements for a disability premium specified in paragraphs 20H and 20I of Schedule 1 to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations;

(b)the resources which, without a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, are likely to be available to the joint-claim couple, the amount by which these resources fall short of the amount applicable in their case in accordance with regulation 16 (applicable amount of joint-claim couple in hardship cases), the amount of any resources which may be available to the joint-claim couple from any person in the couple’s household who is not a member of the family and the length of time for which those factors are likely to persist;

(c)whether there is a substantial risk that essential items, including food, clothing, heating and accommodation, will cease to be available to the joint-claim couple, or will be available at considerably reduced levels, the hardship that will result and the length of time those factors are likely to persist.

(7) In determining the resources available to the offender’s family under paragraph (6)(b), any training premium or top-up payment paid pursuant to the Employment and Training Act 1973 shall be disregarded.

F7Word in reg. 11(2)(e)(ii) omitted (E.W.S.) (8.4.2013) by virtue of The Social Security (Loss of Benefit)(Amendment) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2013/385), regs. 1(2)(b), 12(c)

F11Section 3A was inserted by section 59 of, and paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 7 to, the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 (c. 30).

F23Section 11(1) is cited because of the meaning ascribed to the word “prescribed".

F241992 c. 5; section 189 is applied to regulations made under sections 7 to 10 of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 by section 11(4) of that Act.

F25Section 84 is cited because of the meaning ascribed to the word “prescribe".

F26Section 5A was inserted by section 57 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (c. 19).

F27Section 12(3) of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 added sections 7 to 11 of that Act, and paragraph 104 of Schedule 7 to the Social Security Act 1998 added Chapter II of Part I of that Act to the list of “relevant enactments" in respect of which regulations are to be referred to the Social Security Advisory Committee. These Regulations are made within six months of the coming into force of the relevant provisions of the 2001 Act and are therefore exempt from this requirement by virtue of section 173(5)(b) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

Non-textual amendments applied to the whole Legislation can be found in the Introduction

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