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The Universal Credit (Extension of Coronavirus Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2021 No. 67

Social Security

The Universal Credit (Extension of Coronavirus Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

Made

16th March 2021

Coming into operation

6th April 2021

The Department for Communities(1) makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 14(2) and 48(1), (2) and (4) and paragraphs 4(1), (3)(a) and (4) of Schedule 1 and paragraphs 1(1) and 4(1)(b), (2)(d) and (3)(a) of Schedule 6, to the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015(2) and now vested in it(3).

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Universal Credit (Extension of Coronavirus Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 and come into operation on 6th April 2021.

Standard Allowance Modification

2.—(1) For any assessment period in relation to an award of universal credit, where that assessment period ends on or after 6th April 2021 and before 6th October 2021 regulation 38 (amount of elements) of the Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(4), as amended by the current up-rating order, is to be read as if the amounts of the standard allowance were each increased by £86.67.

(2) For the purposes of any calculation under regulation 55 (transitional element – indicative UC amount) and 56 (transitional element – initial amount and adjustment where other elements increase) of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(5) the amount of the standard allowance is to be the amount specified in regulation 38 of the Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016, as amended by the current up-rating order, with paragraph (1) being disregarded.

(3) In this regulation “the current up-rating order” means the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2020(6) or any subsequent order made under section 132(1) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 that takes effect in an assessment period to which paragraph (1) applies.

Minimum Income Floor

3.  In regulation 10(2A) (expiry) of the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(7) for “30th April 2021” substitute “31st July 2021”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Communities on 16th March 2021

(L.S.)

Anne McCleary

A senior officer of the Department for Communities

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

These Regulations provide for further measures in response to the present outbreak of coronavirus disease in Northern Ireland.

Under regulation 2, modifications to the amount of the standard allowance in universal credit for the 2020-21 tax year, which essentially increases the underlying rates by £86.67 per assessment period, are continued. The modification will last for a further six months and take account of any up-rating order that takes effect during the period for which the modification is in force. The temporary amounts will not apply for the purposes of calculating transitional protection in relation to a claimant who has moved to universal credit under Part 4 (managed migration) of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (S.R. 2016 No. 226) as amended by the Universal Credit (Managed Migration and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulation (Northern Ireland) 2019 (S.R 2019 No. 152). Similarly, the temporary amounts will also not apply for the purposes of calculating transitional protection as a result of being a former Severe Disability Premium recipient who has naturally migrated to UC.

These Regulations also amend the provision by which regulation 2 of the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 (S.R. 2020 No. 53) (“the Further Measures Regulations”) is due to expire on 30th April 2021. Regulation 2 of the Further Measures Regulations provides a discretion for the Department of Communities to apply a number of measures in relation to the minimum income floor, which applies to self-employed claimants in universal credit. Following a review by the Department of the operation of that regulation, it will now expire on 31st July 2021.

A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no, or no significant, impact on the private, public or voluntary sectors is foreseen.

These Regulations make in relation to Northern Ireland only, provision corresponding to provision contained in Regulations made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in relation to Great Britain and accordingly, by virtue of Section 149(3) of, and paragraph 10 of schedule 5 to, the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) 1998 (c.8), are not subject to the requirement of section 149(2) of that Act for prior reference to the Social Security Advisory Committee.

(1)

The Department for Social Development was renamed the Department for Communities in accordance with section 1(7) of the Departments Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (c. 5 (N.I.))

(3)

See Article 8(b) of S.R. 1999 No. 481. The Department for Social Development was renamed the Department for Communities in accordance with section 1(7) of the Departments Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (c. 5 (N.I.))

(7)

S.R. 2020 No. 53 Regulation 10(2A) was inserted by S.R. 2020 No. 242

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