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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Section 5: Couples where at least one member capable of work

This section amends the law relating to certain claimants who are members of a couple.

Subsection (1) amends the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 by inserting new regulation-making powers into section 123(1) of that Act (conditions for income support) and by inserting new subsections (6A) and (6B) (employment and support allowance).

Subsection (2) amends paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (conditions for income-related employment and support allowance).

The purpose of these provisions is to remove entitlement to income support and income-related employment and support allowance for couples where one member is capable of work. This will mean that the only route to income-related support for such couples will be through income-based jobseeker’s allowance and the member of the couple who is work ready will be required to fulfil the jobseeking requirements in Article 3 of the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.

Regulations will prescribe the circumstances in which a member of a couple will not be treated as being capable of work, for example, he or she has claimed or is receiving employment and support allowance or he or she is in receipt of carer’s allowance.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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