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The Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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[F1X1Reduced benefit decisionsN.I.

43.(1) This Article applies where any person ( the parent)—

(a)has made a request under Article 9(5);

(b)fails to comply with any regulation made under Article 9(7); or

(c)having been treated as having applied for a maintenance calculation under Article 9, refuses to take a scientific test (within the meaning of Article 27A).

(2) The Department may serve written notice on the parent requiring that parent, before the end of a specified period—

(a)in a paragraph (1)(a) case, to give the Department that parent's reasons for making the request;

(b)in a paragraph (1)(b) case, to give the Department that parent's reasons for failing to do so; or

(c)in a paragraph (1)(c) case, to give the Department that parent's reasons for the refusal.

(3) When the specified period has expired, the Department shall consider whether, having regard to any reasons given by the parent, there are reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a)in a paragraph (1)(a) case, if the Department were to do what is mentioned in Article 9(3);

(b)in a paragraph (1)(b) case, if that parent were to be required to comply; or

(c)in a paragraph (1)(c) case, if that parent took the scientific test,

there would be a risk of that parent, or of any children living with that parent, suffering harm or undue distress as a result of the Department's taking such action, or that parent complying or taking the test.

(4) If the Department considers that there are such reasonable grounds, it shall—

(a)take no further action under this Article in relation to the request, the failure or the refusal in question; and

(b)notify the parent, in writing, accordingly.

(5) If the Department considers that there are no such reasonable grounds, it may, except in prescribed circumstances, make a reduced benefit decision with respect to the parent.

(6) In a paragraph (1)(a) case, the Department may from time to time serve written notice on the parent requiring that parent, before the end of a specified period—

(a)to state whether the request under Article 9(5) still stands; and

(b)if so, to give the Department that parent's reasons for maintaining the request,

and paragraphs (3) to (5) have effect in relation to such a notice and any response to it as they have effect in relation to a notice under paragraph (2)(a) and any response to it.

(7) Where the Department makes a reduced benefit decision it shall send a copy of it to the parent.

(8) A reduced benefit decision shall take effect on such date as may be specified in the decision.

(9) Reasons given in response to a notice under paragraph (2) or (6) need not be given in writing unless the Department directs in any case that they shall.

(10) In this Article—

  • comply means to comply with the requirement or with the regulation in question;

  • reduced benefit decision means a decision that the amount payable by way of any relevant benefit to, or in respect of, the parent concerned be reduced by such amount, and for such period, as may be prescribed;

  • relevant benefit means income support or an income-based jobseeker's allowance or any other benefit of a kind prescribed for the purposes of Article 9; and

  • specified, in relation to a notice served under this Article, means specified in the notice; and the period to be specified is to be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Department.]

Editorial Information

X1This version shows the text of Article 43 after its substitution (22.11.2000 for certain purposes and 3.3.2003 for further certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 18, 68(2); S.R. 2000/358, art. 2(b), Sch. Pt. II; S.R. 2003/53, art. 4

F1Art. 43 substituted (22.11.2000 for certain purposes and 3.3.2003 for further certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 18, 68(2); S.R. 2000/358, art. 2(b), Sch. Pt. II; S.R. 2003/53, art. 4

X2F2Failure to comply with obligations imposed by Article 9N.I.

43.—(1) This Article applies where any person ( “the parent”)—

(a)fails to comply with a requirement imposed on the parent by the Department under Article 9(1); or

(b)fails to comply with any regulation made under Article 9(9).

(2) [F3The Department] may serve written notice on the parent requiring the parent, before the end of the specified period, either to comply or to give [F4the Department] reasons for failing to do so.

(3) When the specified period has expired, [F5the Department] shall consider whether, having regard to any reasons given by the parent, there are reasonable grounds for believing that, if the parent were to be required to comply, there would be a risk of the parent or of any children living with the parent suffering harm or undue distress as a result of complying.

(4) If [F6the Department] considers that there are such reasonable grounds, [F7it] shall—

(a)take no further action under this Article in relation to the failure in question; and

(b)notify the parent, in writing, accordingly.

(5) If [F6the Department] considers that there are no such reasonable grounds, [F7it] may [F8, except in prescribed circumstances,] give a reduced benefit direction with respect to the parent.

(6) Where [F6the Department] gives a reduced benefit direction [F7it] shall send a copy of it to the parent.

[F9(7) Schedule 4C shall have effect for applying Articles 18, 19, 22 and 28ZA to 28ZC to decisions with respect to reduced benefit directions.]

(9) A reduced benefit direction shall take effect on such date as may be specified in the direction.

(10) Reasons given in response to a notice under paragraph (2) may be given either in writing or orally.

(11) In this Article—

  • “comply” means to comply with the requirement or with the regulation in question;

  • “reduced benefit direction” means a direction F10. . . that the amount payable by way of any relevant benefit to, or in respect of, the parent concerned be reduced by such amount, and for such period, as may be prescribed;

  • “relevant benefit” means income support, [F11an income-based jobseeker’s allowance]F12. . . or any other benefit of a kind prescribed for the purposes of Article 9; and

  • “specified”, in relation to any notice served under this Article, means specified in the notice; and the period to be specified shall be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

Editorial Information

X2This version shows the text of Article 43 prior to its substitution (22.11.2000 for certain purposes and 3.3.2003 for further certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 18, 68(2); S.R. 2000/358, art. 2(b), Sch. Pt. II; S.R. 2003/53, art. 4

F2prosp. in pt. subst. 2000 c. 4 (N.I.)

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