The Housing Benefit (General and Supply of Information) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

Link to law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/1996/115/made/data.htm?wrap=true
Published: 1996-03-21

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1996 No. 115

HOUSING; RATES
The Housing Benefit (General and Supply of Information) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

Made
21st March 1996

Coming into operation
1st April 1996

The Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 122(1)(d), 129(2) to (4), 131(1), 132(3) and (4)(b), 133(2)(c), (d) and (h) and 171(5) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(1), sections 5(1)(a), (b) and (j), 61(1) and (2A)(2) and 120(1) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(3) and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf and with the consent of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland(4) in so far as its consent is required, and after agreement by the Social Security Advisory Committee that proposals in respect of these Regulations should not be referred to it(5), hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Housing Benefit (General and Supply of Information) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and shall come into operation on 1st April 1996.

(2) In these Regulations “the principal Regulations” means the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(6).

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(7) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Amendment of regulation 2 of the principal Regulations

2.  In regulation 2(1) of the principal Regulations (interpretation) after the definition of “the Executive” there shall be inserted the following definition—

““extended payment” means a payment of housing benefit pursuant to regulation 62A;”.

Insertion of regulation 62A into the principal Regulations

3.  After regulation 62 of the principal Regulations (housing benefit tapers) there shall be inserted the following regulation—

“Extended payments

62A.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), in a case where—

(a)a person was entitled to housing benefit and the benefit period comes to an end either—

(i)in accordance with regulation 67(a) (date on which benefit period is to end)(8), or

(ii)in a case where the conditions specified in paragraph (3) are satisfied, in accordance with regulation 67(c) on the ground that the claimant has vacated the dwelling which he occupied as his home;

(b)that person claims benefit under this regulation and the claim is in writing—

(i)on a properly completed form approved for the purpose by the appropriate authority, and

(ii)signed by him, and

(c)the additional conditions specified in Part I of Schedule 5A (extended payments of housing benefit)(9) are satisfied in his case,

then that person’s housing benefit shall be determined in accordance with Part II of that Schedule and any award so determined shall be referred to in these Regulations as an “extended payment”.

(2) For the purposes of any payment pursuant to this regulation—

(a)except in a case to which paragraph 8(b) of Schedule 5A applies, the maximum housing benefit of any person mentioned in paragraph (1) shall be that which was applicable to the award of housing benefit to him referred to in paragraph (1)(a);

(b)the maximum housing benefit of a person to whom paragraph 8(b) of Schedule 5A applies shall be determined in accordance with paragraph 9 of that Schedule, and

(c)any person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1) shall be treated as possessing no income and no capital.

(3) The conditions specified in this paragraph are that the claimant vacated the dwelling and that the day on which he did so was either in the week in which he or his partner took up employment as an employed or self-employed earner or in the preceding week.

(4) Regulations 71, 72 and 73 (claims, evidence and information) shall not apply to a claim pursuant to this regulation and, subject to regulation 69(9)(10), Part IX (calculation of weekly amounts and changes of circumstances) shall not apply to any payment under it.

(5) In a case where a payment has been made under this regulation—

(a)the beneficiary shall be treated, for the purposes of these Regulations and of the Housing Benefit (General) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(11), as though he were entitled to and in receipt of housing benefit during the 4 weeks immediately following the end of the relevant benefit period, and

(b)any claim for housing benefit made within that 4 week period or the 4 weeks thereafter shall be deemed to be within the period of 4 weeks specified in regulation 72(13) (time and manner in which claims are to be made).”.

Amendment of regulation 69 of the principal Regulations

4.  In regulation 69 of the principal Regulations (calculation of weekly amounts) after paragraph (8) there shall be added the following paragraph—

“(9) In any case where a claimant has received an extended payment, his entitlement shall be adjusted in such circumstances and by such amount as are prescribed in Part III of Schedule 5A (extended payments of housing benefit).”.

Amendment of regulation 76 of the principal Regulations

5.  In regulation 76 of the principal Regulations (who is to make a determination) after paragraph (3) there shall be added the following paragraph—

“(4) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this regulation, in a case where a person—

(a)has claimed an extended payment within 7 days from the day immediately after the day on which his entitlement to income support ceased (“the appropriate day”), and

(b)has made a claim, which meets the requirements of regulation 72(1), (6) and (9), within 14 days of the appropriate day,

the appropriate authority shall give priority to that claim over other claims which do not fall within the provisions of this paragraph.”.

Insertion of Schedule 5A into the principal Regulations

6.  After Schedule 5 there shall be inserted the following Schedule—

Regulations 62A and 69(9)

“SCHEDULE 5AExtended Payments of Housing Benefit

Part I

Conditions for an extended payment

1.  The conditions referred to in regulation 62A(1)(c) are those specified in paragraphs 2 and 3.

2.  The conditions specified in this paragraph are that the Department has certified to the appropriate authority—

(a)that the claimant was entitled to and in receipt of income support and that entitlement has ceased;

(b)the relevant day in his case;

(c)that before his entitlement to income support ceased—

(i)the claimant was available for and actively seeking employment,

(ii)the amount applicable to the claimant in income support included an amount by way of a premium pursuant to paragraph 8 (lone parent premium) or, in a case where the claimant was the carer or one of the carers, paragraph 14ZA (carer premium) of Schedule 2 (applicable amounts) to the Income Support (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(12), or

(iii)the claimant was a relevant trainee;

(d)that entitlement to income support had ceased by reason of the claimant or his partner—

(i)commencing employment as an employed or self-employed earner,

(ii)increasing their earnings from such employment, or

(iii)increasing the number of hours worked in such employment, and

(e)that the claimant had been entitled to and in receipt of income support for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks until the relevant day in any of, or any combination of, the circumstances set out at sub-paragraph (c) and for the purpose of this sub-paragraph entitlement to and receipt of unemployment benefit shall be taken to be entitlement to and receipt of income support.

3.—(1) The conditions specified in this paragraph are that the claimant certifies the matters specified in sub-paragraph (2) and meets the requirements specified in sub-paragraph (3).

(2) The matters that the claimant has to certify are—

(a)that—

(i)except in a case to which the sub-head (ii) applies, the liability to pay in respect of the dwelling which he occupies as his home will be continuing for a period of not less than 4 weeks after the last day, or

(ii)he has moved or is about to move to another dwelling (“the new dwelling”) which he is or will be occupying as his home, and the liability to make payments in respect of the new dwelling, follows on immediately from the liability to make payments in respect of his previous dwelling and the liability to make such payments is for a period of not less than 4 weeks commencing on the day following the last day;

(b)in a case where head (a)(ii) applies, the address of that second dwelling and the date upon which he expects to or did go into occupation of it, and

(c)that he or his partner has or is about to—

(i)commence remunerative work, or

(ii)commence or increase the amount of work or the rate of remuneration for work,

so that he ceases to be entitled to income support, and that work or, as the case may be, increase is expected to last for 5 weeks or more.

(3) The specified requirements are that—

(a)the claimant is less than 60 years of age on the day following the relevant day;

(b)the claimant makes the claim referred to in regulation 62A(1)(b) at either the appropriate office or the designated office within 8 days of the relevant day, and

(c)it was the cessation of the entitlement certified under paragraph 2(a) or the occurrence of the condition specified in regulation 62A(3)(13) that led to the termination of the relevant benefit period.

Part II

Calculation and payment of an extended payment

4.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (4) and except in the case of a mover, the amount of the extended payment shall be equal to the amount of housing benefit which was payable to the claimant for the last benefit week before the termination of the relevant benefit period.

(2) In a case where the last benefit week referred to in sub-paragraph (1) fell, in whole or in part, within a rent and rate-free period, the last benefit week for the purposes of that sub-paragraph shall be taken to be the last benefit week in the relevant benefit period that did not fall within a rent and rate-free period.

(3) Where the last benefit week before the termination of the relevant benefit period was a week in which the claimant’s eligible rent or rates was calculated in accordance with regulation 69(5)(c) (calculation of weekly amounts), paragraph (1) shall have effect as if the reference to the last benefit week before the termination of the relevant benefit period was a reference to the week before that week.

(4) The extended payment shall be payable for each of the 4 weeks following the last day, and shall be paid at such time and in such manner as is appropriate, having regard to—

(a)the times at which and the frequency with which a person’s liability to make payment of rent or rates arises, and

(b)the reasonable needs and convenience of the person entitled thereto.

Movers

5.  Paragraphs 6 to 8 below apply to movers from—

(a)the day the move takes place where that day is a Monday, or

(b)from the Monday following the day the move takes place where that day is not a Monday.

Movers and rent allowances

6.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), in the case of a mover whose housing benefit was in the form of a rent allowance the Executive shall make an extended payment to that mover calculated on the same basis as in paragraph 4 and, for these purposes, the mover shall be treated as continuing to occupy and be liable to make payments in respect of the dwelling he was occupying as his home immediately before the termination of the relevant benefit period.

(2) Notwithstanding sub-paragraph (1), in a case where that mover’s liability to make payments in respect of the second dwelling would be to the Executive, any extended payment shall be determined as provided in paragraph 8(b).

Movers and rent and rate rebates

7.  Where, in a case of a mover—

(a)his housing benefit was in the form of a rent and rate rebate, and

(b)he claims an extended payment,

the Executive shall, upon receiving the mover’s claim for an extended payment, which meets the requirements of regulation 62A(1), make an extended payment, calculated in accordance with paragraph 8, to that mover.

Movers and extended payments

8.  In a case to which paragraph 6(2) or 7 applies and a mover’s liability referred to in that paragraph is—

(a)other than to the Executive, the extended payment shall be a payment by way of rent allowance calculated in accordance with paragraph 4;

(b)to the Executive, the extended payment shall be by way of a rent and rate rebate to the value of such part of 4 weeks rent and rates as is eligible for housing benefit, calculated in accordance with regulations 8 to 11, less, in a case where the rebate to which paragraph 7 refers, or the rent allowance to which paragraph 6 refers, as the case may be, was subject to any deductions in respect of non-dependants pursuant to regulations 61 and 63, the amount of those deductions.

Maximum housing benefit

9.  In a case to which paragraph 8(b) or 10 applies the maximum housing benefit of a mover shall be calculated in accordance with regulation 61(1)(14), save that no deduction shall be made in respect of non-dependants, other than any that fall to be taken into account pursuant to those paragraphs.

Movers and rates rebate

10.  In the case of a mover whose housing benefit was in the form of a rate rebate only the extended payment shall be by way of a discharge to the value of such part of 4 weeks liability to rates, less, in a case where the rebate to which paragraph 4 refers was subject to any deductions in respect of non-dependants pursuant to regulations 61(1)(b) and 63, the amount of those deductions.

Movers with two homes

11.  Subject to Part III, any extended payment under this Part shall be without prejudice to any entitlement the claimant may have pursuant to regulation 5(5) (circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home)(15).

Part III

Adjustment of entitlement in respect of an extended payment

12.  Where for any week—

(a)a person is entitled to an extended payment, and

(b)he also claims and is awarded housing benefit,

then the amount of the housing benefit payable in respect of that week shall be reduced by a sum equal to the amount of the extended payment and only the balance (if any) shall be payable to him for that week.

Part IV

Interpretation

13.  In this Schedule—

“claimant” means a person claiming an extended payment;

“relevant trainee” means a person who is receiving both training and an allowance under arrangements provided under sections 2 and 3 of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1945(16) or made under section 1(1) of the Employment and Training Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(17);

“the last day” means the last day of the relevant benefit period;

“mover” means a claimant who changes the dwelling which he occupies as his home in respect of which he is liable or treated as liable to make payments;

“the relevant benefit period” means the benefit period referred to in regulation 62A(1)(a);

“the relevant day” means the day on which the claimant’s entitlement to income support ceased;

“second dwelling” means the dwelling to which a mover has certified e will be or is occupying pursuant to paragraph 3(2)(a)(ii).”.

Amendment of the Housing Benefit (Supply of Information) Regulations

7.  In regulation 2(1) of the Housing Benefit (Supply of Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1988(18) (information to be supplied by the Department to the Executive)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (k)(19) for “sub-paragraphs (a) to (j), (l) to (r)” there shall be substituted “sub-paragraphs (a) to (j), (l) to (s)”;

(b)after sub-paragraph (r)(20) there shall be added the following sub-paragraph—

“(s)any information needed for, incidental to or consequential upon the Department’s certification to the Executive as the appropriate authority pursuant to paragraph 2 of Schedule 5A to the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987 (extended payments of housing benefit).”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland on

L.S.
W. G. Purdy
Assistant Secretary
21st March 1996.

The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland hereby consents to the foregoing Regulations.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland on

L.S.
R. E. Aiken
Assistant Secretary
22nd March 1996.

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)
These Regulations further amend the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987 and the Housing Benefit (Supply of Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1988. These Regulations make and further amend provisions relating to maximum benefit in cases where housing benefit was payable, by providing for a further, extended, payment of benefit in prescribed circumstances and make provision for the effect of such payments on any further grant of benefit.
They also provide for further claims for housing benefit to be given priority over other claims in prescribed circumstances and for the Department of Health and Social Services to pass information about the matters in these Regulations to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.


(1)
1992 c. 7

(2)
Section 61(2A) was inserted by Article 30(2) of the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/2705 (N.I. 15))

(3)
1992 c. 8

(4)
See section 171(6A) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 inserted by Article 3(3) of the Social Security (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993/1579 (N.I. 8))

(5)
See section 150(1)(b) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992

(6)
S.R. 1987 No. 461; relevant amending regulations are S.R. 1990 No. 136, S.R. 1992 No. 549, S.R. 1993 No. 145, S.R. 1995 No. 89 and S.R. 1996 No. 111

(7)
1954 c. 33 (N.I.)

(8)
Paragraphs (a) to (c) were substituted by regulation 9 of S.R. 1990 No. 136 and paragraph (a) was amended by regulation 8 of S.R. 1995 No. 89

(9)
Schedule 5A is inserted by regulation 6 of these Regulations

(10)
Paragraph (9) of regulation 69 is inserted by regulation 4 of these Regulations

(11)
S.R. 1996 No. 111

(12)
S.R. 1987 No. 459; paragraph 14ZA was inserted by regulation 6(d) of S.R. 1990 No. 346 and amended by S.R. 1991 No. 338 and S.R. 1992 No. 6

(13)
Regulation 62A is inserted by regulation 3 of these Regulations

(14)
Regulation 61 was amended by regulation 10 of S.R. 1996 No. 111

(15)
Regulation 5(5) was amended by regulation 2 of S.R. 1992 No. 549 and regulation 3(a) of S.R. 1993 No. 145

(16)
1945 c. 6 (N.I.); sections 2 and 3 were amended by section 1 of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1960 (c. 4 (N.I.)) and Schedule 18 to the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (S.I. 1986/594 (N.I. 3))

(17)
1950 c. 29 (N.I.); section 1 was amended by Article 3 of the Employment and Training (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (S.I. 1988/1087 (N.I. 10))

(18)
S.R. 1988 No. 118; relevant amending Regulations are S.R. 1992 No. 141, S.R. 1994 No. 335 and S.R. 1995 No. 129

(19)
Sub-paragraph (k) was added by regulation 16(c) of S.R. 1992 No. 141 and amended by S.R. 1994 No. 335 and S.R. 1995 No. 129

(20)
Sub-paragraph (r) was added by regulation 10(3)(b) of S.R. 1995 No. 129
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