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Social Security Administration and Tribunal Membership (Scotland) Act 2020

Section 1: Appointment of person to act on behalf of child

5.Section 1 modifies the 2018 Act in relation to the appointment of persons to act on behalf of an individual in connection with the determination of the individual’s entitlement to assistance. Subsection (2) inserts new section 85A which provides for the appointment of a person to act on behalf of a child.

6.Subsections (1) and (2) of new section 85A allow the Scottish Ministers to appoint a person to act on behalf of a child, in connection with the determination of their entitlement to assistance under section 24 or regulations made under section 79 of the 2018 Act, and where appropriate to receive that assistance on the child’s behalf.

7.New subsections (3) and (4) of section 85A provide that a person, aged 16 or over, may be appointed on behalf of a child in circumstances where it appears to the Scottish Ministers that there is no person with authority to act on the child’s behalf who resides with, and has the care of, the child and is willing and practicably able to do so.

8.New section 85A(5) provides that the appointee effectively stands in the shoes of a person with authority to act on behalf of that child (for example a parent or guardian), and can do anything they could do in connection with the determination of the child’s entitlement to assistance. The Scottish Ministers may ask the appointee for information, and must give the appointee the same information that would otherwise be given to the child.

9.New section 85A(6) gives the Scottish Minsters the power to terminate an appointment made in respect of a child at any time.

10.New section 85A(7) defines a child for the purposes of section 85A as an individual who is under the age of 16 years.

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