1 Citation, commencement and duration

(1)    These Regulations may be cited as the Housing Benefit (Loss of Benefit) (Pilot Scheme) Regulations 2007 and shall come into force on 1st November 2007.

(2)    These Regulations shall cease to have effect on 31st October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see above.

2 Interpretation

2Interpretation

(1)    In these Regulations—

“the Fraud Act” means the Social Security Fraud Act 2001;

“attendance allowance” means—

(a)    an attendance allowance under section 64;

(b)    an increase of disablement pension under section 104 or 105 (increases where constant attendance needed and for exceptionally severe disablement);

(c)    a payment in respect of the need for constant attendance under regulations made in accordance with section 111 and paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 8 (payments for constant attendance in workmen's compensation cases);

(d)    an increase in allowance which is payable in respect of constant attendance under section 111 and paragraph 4 of Schedule 8 (industrial diseases benefit schemes);

(e)    a payment by virtue of article 14, 15, 16, 43 or 44 of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983 or any analogous payment;

(f)    any payment based on the need for attendance which is paid as an addition to a war disablement pension;

“disability living allowance” means a disability living allowance under section 71;

“partner” means—

(a)    where a claimant is a member of a couple, the other member of that couple;

(b)    where a claimant is polygamously married to two or more members of his household, any such member;

“relevant authority” has the same meaning as in paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000;

“war disablement pension” means—

(a)    any retirement pay, pension or allowance granted in respect of disablement under powers conferred by or under—

(i)    the Air Force (Constitution) Act 1917;

(ii)    the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939;

(iii)    the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act 1939;

(iv)    the Polish Resettlement Act 1947;

(v)    Part VII or section 151 of the Reserve Forces Act 1980;

(b)    the following pay, pension or allowances, but only the part attributable to disablement or disability—

(i)    a wounds pension granted to a member of the armed forces of the Crown;

(ii)    retired pay of a disabled officer granted on account of medical unfitness attributable to or aggravated by service in the armed forces of the Crown;

(iii)    a disablement or disability pension granted to a member of the armed forces of the Crown, other than a commissioned officer, on account of medical unfitness attributable to or aggravated by service in the armed forces of the Crown;

(iv)    a disablement pension granted to a person who has been employed in the nursing services of any of the armed forces of the Crown on account of medical unfitness attributable to or aggravated by service in the armed forces of the Crown; and

(c)    a payment made under article 14(1)(b) of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2005.

(2)    Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in these Regulations to a numbered section or Schedule is a reference to the section of, or Schedule to, the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 bearing that number.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

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3 Application of pilot scheme

3Application of pilot scheme

These Regulations apply in relation to a former occupier only where the following conditions are satisfied in his case—

(a)    the relevant order for possession relates to a dwelling which is within the area of a relevant authority specified in the Schedule and was made on or after the date there specified in relation to that authority;

(b)    the warning notice was served on him by a relevant local authority specified in the Schedule on or after the date there specified in relation to that authority; and

(c)    housing benefit is awarded in respect of a dwelling which is within the area of a relevant authority specified in the Schedule.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

4 Reduction of benefit

4Reduction of benefit

(1)    The housing benefit to which the former occupier would, apart from this regulation, be entitled in respect of any week in the restriction period is to be reduced as set out in this regulation.

(2)    In any case where the former occupier's housing benefit in respect of any week in the restriction period is also subject to a reduction due to the application of section 7 of the Fraud Act (loss of benefit for commission of benefit offences), this regulation shall be applied subject to regulation 6.

(3)    The restriction period is to contain three phases—

(a)    Phase A is a period of four weeks beginning on the first Monday of the restriction period;

(b)    Phase B is a period of four weeks beginning on the Monday following the last day of Phase A; and

(c)    Phase C is the remainder of the restriction period and begins on the Monday following the last day of Phase B.

(4)    Where the restriction period stops running under section 130B(6) and starts running again under that subsection, for the purposes of identifying the relevant phase, the restriction period is to start to run again from the point when it previously stopped running.

(5)    The former occupier's entitlement to housing benefit in respect of any week in—

(a)    Phase A is to be reduced by 10%.

(b)    Phase B is to be reduced by 20%.

(c)    Phase C is to be reduced by—

(i)    100%; or

(ii)    where the former occupier is a person in hardship under regulation 5 (meaning of “person in hardship”), 30%.

(6)    A reduction under sub-paragraphs (5)(a), (b) or (c)(ii) shall, if it is not a multiple of 5p, be rounded to the nearest such multiple or, if it is a multiple of 2.5p but not of 5p, to the next lower multiple of 5p.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

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5 Meaning of person in hardship

5Meaning of “person in hardship”

(1)    A former occupier is a “person in hardship” if he—

(a)    has provided the relevant authority with a signed statement, on a form approved for the purpose by the Secretary of State, of the circumstances on which he relies to establish that he is a person in hardship; and

(b)    falls within paragraph (2), (3) or (5).

(2)    A former occupier falls within this paragraph if—

(a)    she is pregnant;

(b)    a member of his family is pregnant;

(c)    he is a single person aged less than 18; or

(d)    he is a member of a couple and both members are aged less than 18.

(3)    Subject to paragraph (4), a former occupier falls within this paragraph if he or his partner—

(a)    is responsible for a child or young person who is a member of the former occupier's household;

(b)    has been awarded an attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance at one of the two higher rates prescribed under section 72(4);

(c)    has claimed either attendance allowance or disability living allowance and the claim has not been determined;

(d)    devotes a considerable portion of each week to caring for another person who—

(i)    has been awarded an attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance at one of the two higher rates prescribed under section 72(4); or

(ii)    has claimed either attendance allowance or disability living allowance and the claim has not been determined; or

(e)    is aged 60 or more.

(4)    A former occupier to whom paragraph (3)(c) or (3)(d)(ii) applies is a person in hardship only for 26 weeks from the date of the claim unless he is a person in hardship under another provision of this regulation.

(5)    A former occupier falls within this paragraph where, after taking account of all the circumstances of the case including those set out in paragraph (6), the relevant authority is satisfied that, unless housing benefit is paid, he, or a member of his family, will suffer hardship.

(6)    The circumstances which the relevant authority is to take into account in determining whether the former occupier, or a member of his family, will suffer hardship include—

(a)    the resources which are likely to be available to his family and the length of time for which they might be available; and

(b)    whether there is a substantial risk that essential items, including food, clothing and heating, will cease to be available to him or a member of his family, or will be available at considerably reduced levels and the length of time for which this might be so.

(7)    For the purposes of this regulation “young person” has the meaning prescribed in regulation 19(1) of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006(persons of prescribed description).

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

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6 Reduction of benefit in cases where section 7 of the Fraud Act applies

6Reduction of benefit in cases where section 7 of the Fraud Act applies

(1)    In any case where the former occupier's housing benefit is subject to both a reduction under these Regulations and a reduction due to the application of regulations made under section 7 of the Fraud Act (loss of benefit for commission of benefit offences), his housing benefit in any week in the restriction period is to be reduced by the greater of either—

(a)    the amount by which it would be reduced under regulation 4; or

(b)    the amount by which it would be reduced under regulation 17 of the Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

Social Security & Benefits Offences98 Benefits99 Welfare, Housing & Social Security Law98

7 Amendment of the Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001

7Amendment of the Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001

(1)    Regulation 17 of the Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001 (circumstances where a reduced amount of housing benefit and council tax benefit is payable) is amended as follows.

(2)    In paragraph (1), after the words “Subject to” insert “paragraph (4) and”.

(3)    After paragraph (3) insert—

“(4)    In any case where the housing benefit of an offender or an offender's family member is subject to both a reduction under this regulation and a reduction by virtue of section 130B of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (loss of benefit following eviction on certain grounds), any payment of housing benefit which is to be made to the offender in respect of any week in the disqualification period, or to an offender's family member in respect of any week in the relevant period, shall be reduced in accordance with paragraph (5).

(5)    The amount of housing benefit payable in respect of any week in the disqualification period, or relevant period (in the case of an offender's family member) shall be reduced by the greater of either—

(a)    the amount by which it would be reduced under this regulation; or

(b)    the amount by which it would be reduced under regulation 4 of the Housing Benefit (Loss of Benefit) (Pilot Scheme) Regulations 2007.”.

NOTES
Initial Commencement
Specified date

Specified date: 1 November 2007 (these Regulations cease to have effect on 31 October 2009 unless revoked with effect from an earlier date): see reg 1.

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Signature

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

James Plaskitt

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State,

Department for Work and Pensions

26th July 2007

EXPLANATORY NOTE

EXPLANATORY NOTE (This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations prescribe the rate by which housing benefit is to be reduced during the restriction period referred to in section 130B(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. Section 130B was inserted by the Welfare Reform Act 2007. It provides that housing benefit is to be reduced if a former occupier is evicted from his home on grounds of anti-social behaviour under a relevant possession order (as defined in section 130C of the 1992 Act) and other conditions are satisfied, including the failure without good cause to comply with a warning notice requiring the former occupier to take specified action. Housing benefit will be reduced for the restriction period, which can last up to 5 years (section 130B(8)).

The Regulations apply only in the pilot scheme areas listed in the Schedule (regulation 3).

Regulation 1 deals with commencement and it provides that the Regulations will cease to apply at the end of the pilot period.

Regulation 2 contains definitions.

Regulation 4 prescribes the rate by which housing benefit is to be reduced during the restriction period. Housing benefit will be gradually reduced in three phases (unless the restriction period ends before the start of a new phase), subject to the provisions dealing with persons in hardship.

Regulation 5 specifies who is to be regarded as a “person in hardship”.

Regulation 6 deals with cases where a reduction is also made under section 7 of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (loss of benefit for commission of benefit offences).

Regulation 7 makes a related amendment to regulation 17 of the Social Security (Loss of Benefit) Regulations 2001.

These Regulations have no impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector. However, an assessment of the impact of the provisions in these Regulations is included in the Regulatory Impact Assessment that accompanied the Welfare Reform Bill. A copy of that Assessment has been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament. Copies may be obtained from the Better Regulation Unit of the Department for Work and Pensions, level 4, The Adelphi, 1–11 John Adam Street, London WC 2N 6HT.

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