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Welfare Reform Act 2007 (c. 5)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Welfare Reform Act 2007

2007 CHAPTER 5

CONTENTS

Content
  1. Part 1

    Employment and support allowance

    1. Entitlement

      1. 1. Employment and support allowance

      2. 2. Amount of contributory allowance

      3. 3. Deductions from contributory allowance: supplementary

      4. 4. Amount of income-related allowance

      5. 5. Advance award of income-related allowance

      6. 6. Amount payable where claimant entitled to both forms of allowance

      7. 7. Exclusion of payments below prescribed minimum

    2. Assessments relating to entitlement

      1. 8. Limited capability for work

      2. 9. Limited capability for work-related activity

      3. 10. Report

    3. Conditionality

      1. 11. Work-focused health-related assessments

      2. 12. Work-focused interviews

      3. 13. Work-related activity

      4. 14. Action plans in connection with work-focused interviews

      5. 15. Directions about work-related activity

      6. 16. Contracting out

    4. Miscellaneous

      1. 17. Income and capital: general

      2. 18. Disqualification

      3. 19. Pilot schemes

      4. 20. Relationship with statutory payments

      5. 21. Deemed entitlement for other purposes

      6. 22. Supplementary provisions

      7. 23. Recovery of sums in respect of maintenance

    5. General

      1. 24. Interpretation of Part 1

      2. 25. Regulations

      3. 26. Parliamentary control

      4. 27. Financial provisions relating to Part 1

      5. 28. Consequential amendments relating to Part 1

      6. 29. Transition relating to Part 1

  2. Part 2

    Housing benefit and council tax benefit

    1. 30. Local housing allowance

    2. 31. Loss of housing benefit following eviction for anti-social behaviour, etc.

    3. 32. Housing benefit and council tax benefit for persons taking up employment

    4. 33. Section 32: supplemental

    5. 34. Sections 32 and 33: interpretation

    6. 35. Information relating to housing benefit

    7. 36. Supply of information by rent officers

    8. 37. Payment of housing benefit

    9. 38. Duty to send inspection reports to the Secretary of State

    10. 39. Directions by Secretary of State

    11. 40. Minor and consequential amendments relating to Part 2

  3. Part 3

    Social security administration: general

    1. Sharing of social security information

      1. 41. Social security information

      2. 42. Information relating to certain benefits

      3. 43. Unlawful disclosure of certain information

    2. Overpayment recovery

      1. 44. Recovery of overpaid benefit: Great Britain

      2. 45. Recovery of overpaid child benefit and guardian's allowance: Northern Ireland

    3. Benefit fraud

      1. 46. Local authority powers to investigate benefit fraud

      2. 47. Local authority powers to prosecute benefit fraud

      3. 48. Local authority functions relating to benefit: information

      4. 49. Loss of benefit for commission of benefit offences

  4. Part 4

    Miscellaneous

    1. Benefits for bereaved persons

      1. 50. Widowed mother's allowance

      2. 51. Widowed parent's allowance

    2. Disability living allowance: age conditions

      1. 52. Care component of disability living allowance: persons under the age of 16

      2. 53. Mobility component of disability living allowance: persons under the age of 16

    3. Social fund

      1. 54. Matters to which regard must be had in awarding budgeting loans

      2. 55. Allocations from Social Fund

    4. Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979

      1. 56. Overseas vaccinations

      2. 57. Appeals to appeal tribunal in Northern Ireland

    5. Compensation for pneumoconiosis etc.

      1. 58. "Relevant employer"

      2. 59. "Dependant"

    6. Other

      1. 60. Power to stop payment of allowances to care home residents

      2. 61. Independent Living Funds

      3. 62. Medical examinations

      4. 63. Minor and consequential amendments relating to Part 4

  5. Part 5

    General

    1. 64. Northern Ireland

    2. 65. General interpretation

    3. 66. Financial provisions: general

    4. 67. Repeals

    5. 68. Transition

    6. 69. Extent

    7. 70. Commencement

    8. 71. Short title

    1. Schedule 1

      Employment and support allowance: additional conditions

      1. Part 1

        Contributory allowance

      2. Part 2

        Income-related allowance

    2. Schedule 2

      Employment and support allowance: supplementary provisions

    3. Schedule 3

      Consequential amendments relating to Part 1

    4. Schedule 4

      Transition relating to Part 1

    5. Schedule 5

      Minor and consequential amendments relating to Part 2

    6. Schedule 6

      Schedule to be inserted in the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979

    7. Schedule 7

      Minor and consequential amendments relating to Part 4

    8. Schedule 8

      Repeals

An Act to make provision about social security; to amend the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979; and for connected purposes.

[3rd May 2007]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part 1 Employment and support allowance

Entitlement

1 Employment and support allowance

(1) An allowance, to be known as an employment and support allowance, shall be payable in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Part, a claimant is entitled to an employment and support allowance if he satisfies the basic conditions and either--

(a) the first and the second conditions set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 (conditions relating to national insurance) or the third condition set out in that Part of that Schedule (condition relating to youth), or

(b) the conditions set out in Part 2 of that Schedule (conditions relating to financial position).

(3) The basic conditions are that the claimant--

(a) has limited capability for work,

(b) is at least 16 years old,

(c) has not reached pensionable age,

(d) is in Great Britain,

(e) is not entitled to income support, and

(f) is not entitled to a jobseeker's allowance (and is not a member of a couple who are entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance).

(4) For the purposes of this Part, a person has limited capability for work if--

(a) his capability for work is limited by his physical or mental condition, and

(b) the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require him to work.

(5) An employment and support allowance is payable in respect of a week.

(6) In subsection (3)--

  • "joint-claim jobseeker's allowance" means a jobseeker's allowance entitlement to which arises by virtue of section 1(2B) of the Jobseekers Act 1995 (c. 18);

  • "pensionable age" has the meaning given by the rules in paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 to the Pensions Act 1995 (c. 26).

(7) In this Part--

  • "contributory allowance" means an employment and support allowance entitlement to which is based on subsection (2)(a);

  • "income-related allowance" means an employment and support allowance entitlement to which is based on subsection (2)(b).

2 Amount of contributory allowance

(1) In the case of a contributory allowance, the amount payable in respect of a claimant shall be calculated by--

(a) taking such amount as may be prescribed,

(b) if in his case the conditions of entitlement to the support component or the work-related activity component are satisfied, adding the amount of that component, and

(c) making prescribed deductions in respect of any payments to which section 3 applies.

(2) The conditions of entitlement to the support component are--

(a) that the assessment phase has ended,

(b) that the claimant has limited capability for work-related activity, and

(c) that such other conditions as may be prescribed are satisfied.

(3) The conditions of entitlement to the work-related activity component are--

(a) that the assessment phase has ended,

(b) that the claimant does not have limited capability for work-related activity, and

(c) that such other conditions as may be prescribed are satisfied.

(4) Regulations may--

(a) prescribe circumstances in which paragraph (a) of subsection (2) or (3) is not to apply;

(b) prescribe circumstances in which entitlement under subsection (2) or (3) is to be backdated;

(c) make provision about the amount of the component under subsection (2) or (3).

(5) For the purposes of this Part, a person has limited capability for work-related activity if--

(a) his capability for work-related activity is limited by his physical or mental condition, and

(b) the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require him to undertake such activity.

3 Deductions from contributory allowance: supplementary

(1) This section applies to payments of the following kinds which are payable to the claimant--

(a) pension payments,

(b) PPF periodic payments, and

(c) payments of a prescribed description made to a person who is a member of, or has been appointed to, a prescribed body carrying out public or local functions.

(2) Regulations may--

(a) disapply section 2(1)(c), so far as relating to pension payments or PPF periodic payments, in relation to persons of a prescribed description;

(b) provide for pension payments or PPF periodic payments of a prescribed description to be treated for the purposes of that provision as not being payments to which this section applies;

(c) provide for sums of a prescribed description to be treated for the purposes of this section as payable to persons as pension payments or PPF periodic payments (including, in particular, sums in relation to which there is a deferred right of receipt);

(d) make provision for the method of determining how payments to which this section applies are, for the purposes of section 2, to be related to periods for which a person is entitled to a contributory allowance.

(3) In this section--

  • "pension payment" means--

    (a)

    a periodical payment made in relation to a person under a personal pension scheme or, in connection with the coming to an end of an employment of his, under an occupational pension scheme or a public service pension scheme,

    (b)

    a payment of a prescribed description made under an insurance policy providing benefits in connection with physical or mental illness or disability, and

    (c)

    such other payments as may be prescribed;

  • "PPF periodic payment" means--

    (a)

    any periodic compensation payment made in relation to a person, payable under the pension compensation provisions as specified in section 162(2) of the Pensions Act 2004 (c. 35) or Article 146(2) of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)) (the pension compensation provisions), and

    (b)

    any periodic payment made in relation to a person, payable under section 166 of the Pensions Act 2004 or Article 150 of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (duty to pay scheme benefits unpaid at assessment date etc.).

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), "occupational pension scheme", "personal pension scheme" and "public service pension scheme" each have the meaning given by section 1 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (c. 48), except that "personal pension scheme" includes--

(a) an annuity contract or trust scheme approved under section 620 or 621 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (c. 1), and

(b) a substituted contract within the meaning of section 622(3) of that Act,

which is treated as having become a registered pension scheme by virtue of paragraph 1(1)(f) of Schedule 36 to the Finance Act 2004 (c. 12).

4 Amount of income-related allowance

(1) In the case of an income-related allowance, the amount payable in respect of a claimant shall be--

(a) if he has no income, the applicable amount;

(b) if he has an income, the amount by which the applicable amount exceeds his income.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the applicable amount for the purposes of subsection (1) shall be calculated by--

(a) taking such amount, or the aggregate of such amounts, as may be prescribed, and

(b) if in the claimant's case the conditions of entitlement to the support component or the work-related activity component are satisfied, adding the amount of that component.

(3) Regulations may provide that, in prescribed cases, the applicable amount for the purposes of subsection (1) shall be nil.

(4) The conditions of entitlement to the support component are--

(a) that the assessment phase has ended,

(b) that the claimant has limited capability for work-related activity, and

(c) that such other conditions as may be prescribed are satisfied.

(5) The conditions of entitlement to the work-related activity component are--

(a) that the assessment phase has ended,

(b) that the claimant does not have limited capability for work-related activity, and

(c) that such other conditions as may be prescribed are satisfied.

(6) Regulations may--

(a) prescribe circumstances in which paragraph (a) of subsection (4) or (5) is not to apply;

(b) prescribe circumstances in which entitlement under subsection (4) or (5) is to be backdated;

(c) make provision about the amount of the component under subsection (4) or (5).

5 Advance award of income-related allowance

(1) This section applies to claims for an employment and support allowance by a person who--

(a) would be entitled to an income-related allowance, but for the fact that he does not satisfy the condition in paragraph 6(1)(a) of Schedule 1,

(b) would satisfy that condition if he were entitled to the component mentioned in section 4(4) or (5), and

(c) is not entitled to a contributory allowance.

(2) In relation to claims to which this section applies, section 5(1) of the Administration Act (regulations about claims for benefit) shall have effect as if--

(a) in paragraph (d) (power to permit an award on a claim for benefit for a future period to be made subject to the condition that the claimant satisfies the requirements for entitlement when the benefit becomes payable under the award), there were inserted at the end "and to such other conditions as may be prescribed", and

(b) in paragraph (e) (power to provide for such an award to be revised or superseded under the Social Security Act 1998 (c. 14) if any of those requirements are found not to have been satisfied), for "any of those requirements" there were substituted "any of the conditions to which the award is made subject".

(3) Regulations may, in relation to claims to which this section applies, make provision enabling an award to be made on terms such that the time at which benefit becomes payable under the award is later than the start of the period for which the award is made.

6 Amount payable where claimant entitled to both forms of allowance

(1) This section applies where a claimant is entitled to both a contributory allowance and an income-related allowance.

(2) If the claimant has no income, the amount payable by way of an employment and support allowance shall be the greater of--

(a) his personal rate, and

(b) the applicable amount.

(3) If the claimant has an income, the amount payable by way of an employment and support allowance shall be the greater of--

(a) his personal rate, and

(b) the amount by which the applicable amount exceeds his income.

(4) Where the amount payable to the claimant by way of an employment and support allowance does not exceed his personal rate, the allowance shall be treated as attributable to the claimant's entitlement to a contributory allowance.

(5) Where the amount payable to the claimant by way of an employment and support allowance exceeds his personal rate, the allowance shall be taken to consist of two elements, namely--

(a) an amount equal to his personal rate, and

(b) an amount equal to the excess.

(6) The element mentioned in subsection (5)(a) shall be treated as attributable to the claimant's entitlement to a contributory allowance.

(7) The element mentioned in subsection (5)(b) shall be treated as attributable to the claimant's entitlement to an income-related allowance.

(8) In this section--

  • "applicable amount" means the amount which, in the claimant's case, is the applicable amount for the purposes of section 4(1);

  • "personal rate" means the amount calculated in accordance with section 2(1).

7 Exclusion of payments below prescribed minimum

Except in such circumstances as regulations may provide, an employment and support allowance shall not be payable where the amount otherwise payable would be less than a prescribed minimum.



Assessments relating to entitlement

8 Limited capability for work

(1) For the purposes of this Part, whether a person's capability for work is limited by his physical or mental condition and, if it is, whether the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require him to work shall be determined in accordance with regulations.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) shall--

(a) provide for determination on the basis of an assessment of the person concerned;

(b) define the assessment by reference to the extent to which a person who has some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement is capable or incapable of performing such activities as may be prescribed;

(c) make provision as to the manner of carrying out the assessment.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) may, in particular, make provision--

(a) as to the information or evidence required for the purpose of determining the matters mentioned in that subsection;

(b) as to the manner in which that information or evidence is to be provided;

(c) for a person in relation to whom it falls to be determined whether he has limited capability for work to be called to attend for such medical examination as the regulations may require.

(4) Regulations under subsection (1) may include provision--

(a) for a person to be treated as not having limited capability for work if he fails without good cause--

(i) to provide information or evidence which he is required under such regulations to provide,

(ii) to provide information or evidence in the manner in which he is required under such regulations to provide it, or

(iii) to attend for, or submit himself to, a medical examination for which he is called under such regulations to attend;

(b) as to matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account in determining for the purposes of any provision made by virtue of paragraph (a) whether a person has good cause for any act or omission;

(c) as to circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be regarded for the purposes of any such provision as having good cause for any act or omission.

(5) Regulations may provide that, in prescribed circumstances, a person in relation to whom it falls to be determined whether he has limited capability for work, shall, if prescribed conditions are met, be treated as having limited capability for work until such time as--

(a) it has been determined whether he has limited capability for work, or

(b) he falls in accordance with regulations under this section to be treated as not having limited capability for work.

(6) The prescribed conditions referred to in subsection (5) may include the condition that it has not previously been determined, within such period as may be prescribed, that the person in question does not have, or is to be treated as not having, limited capability for work.

9 Limited capability for work-related activity

(1) For the purposes of this Part, whether a person's capability for work-related activity is limited by his physical or mental condition and, if it is, whether the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require him to undertake such activity shall be determined in accordance with regulations.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) shall--

(a) provide for determination on the basis of an assessment of the person concerned;

(b) define the assessment by reference to such matters as the regulations may provide;

(c) make provision as to the manner of carrying out the assessment.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) may, in particular, make provision--

(a) as to the information or evidence required for the purpose of determining the matters mentioned in that subsection;

(b) as to the manner in which that information or evidence is to be provided;

(c) for a person in relation to whom it falls to be determined whether he has limited capability for work-related activity to be called to attend for such medical examination as the regulations may require.

(4) Regulations under subsection (1) may include provision--

(a) for a person to be treated as not having limited capability for work-related activity if he fails without good cause--

(i) to provide information or evidence which he is required under such regulations to provide,

(ii) to provide information or evidence in the manner in which he is required under such regulations to provide it, or

(iii) to attend for, or submit himself to, a medical examination for which he is called under such regulations to attend;

(b) as to matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account in determining for the purposes of any provision made by virtue of paragraph (a) whether a person has good cause for any act or omission;

(c) as to circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be regarded for the purposes of any such provision as having good cause for any act or omission.

10 Report

The Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament an independent report on the operation of the assessments under sections 8 and 9 annually for the first five years after those sections come into force.



Conditionality

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11 Work-focused health-related assessments

(1) Regulations may make provision for or in connection with imposing on a person who is--

(a) entitled to an employment and support allowance, and

(b) not a member of the support group,

a requirement to take part in one or more work-focused health-related assessments as a condition of continuing to be entitled to the full amount payable to him in respect of the allowance apart from the regulations.

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular, make provision--

(a) prescribing circumstances in which such a person is subject to a requirement to take part in one or more work-focused health-related assessments;

(b) for notifying such a person of any such requirement;

(c) prescribing the work-focused health-related assessments in which a person who is subject to such a requirement is required to take part;

(d) for the determination, and notification, of the time and place of any such assessment;

(e) prescribing circumstances in which a person attending such an assessment is to be regarded as having, or not having, taken part in it;

(f) for securing that the appropriate consequence follows if a person who is required under the regulations to take part in a work-focused health-related assessment--

(i) fails to take part in the assessment, and

(ii) does not, within a prescribed period, show that he had good cause for that failure;

(g) prescribing matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account in determining whether a person had good cause for any failure to comply with the regulations;

(h) prescribing circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be regarded as having good cause for any such failure.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(f), the appropriate consequence of a failure falling within that provision is that the amount payable to the person in question in respect of an employment and support allowance is reduced in accordance with regulations.

(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may, in particular, make provision for determining--

(a) the amount by which an allowance is to be reduced,

(b) when the reduction is to start, and

(c) how long it is to continue,

and may include provision prescribing circumstances in which the amount of the reduction is to be nil.

(5) Regulations under this section shall include provision for a requirement to take part in one or more work-focused health-related assessments to cease to have effect if the person subject to the requirement becomes a member of the support group.

(6) Regulations under this section may include provision--

(a) that in such circumstances as the regulations may prescribe a requirement to take part in a work-focused health-related assessment that would otherwise apply to a person by virtue of such regulations is not to apply, or is to be treated as not having applied;

(b) that in such circumstances as the regulations may prescribe such a requirement is not to apply until a prescribed time;

(c) that in such circumstances as the regulations may prescribe the time and place of a work-focused health-related assessment in which a person is required by regulations under this section to take part may be redetermined.

(7) In this section, "work-focused health-related assessment" means an assessment by a health care professional approved by the Secretary of State which is carried out for the purpose of assessing--

(a) the extent to which a person still has capability for work,

(b) the extent to which his capability for work may be improved by the taking of steps in relation to his physical or mental condition, and

(c) such other matters relating to his physical or mental condition and the likelihood of his obtaining or remaining in work or being able to do so, as may be prescribed.

(8) In subsection (7), "health care professional" means--

(a) a registered medical practitioner,

(b) a registered nurse,

(c) an occupational therapist or physiotherapist registered with a regulatory body established by an Order in Council under section 60 of the Health Act 1999 (c. 8), or

(d) a member of such other profession regulated by a body mentioned in section 25(3) of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 (c. 17) as may be prescribed.

12 Work-focused interviews

(1) Regulations may make provision for or in connection with imposing on a person who is--

(a) entitled to an employment and support allowance, and

(b) not a member of the support group,

a requirement to take part in one or more work-focused interviews as a condition of continuing to be entitled to the full amount payable to him in respect of the allowance apart from the regulations.

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular, make provision--

(a) prescribing circumstances in which such a person is subject to a requirement to take part in one or more work-focused interviews;

(b) for notifying such a person of any such requirement;

(c) prescribing the work-focused interviews in which a person who is subject to such a requirement is required to take part;

(d) for determining, in relation to work-focused interviews under the regulations, when and how the interview is to be conducted and, if it is to be conducted face to face, where it is to take place;

(e) for notifying persons who are required under the regulations to take part in a work-focused interview of what is determined in respect of the matters mentioned in paragraph (d);

(f) prescribing circumstances in which a person who is a party to a work-focused interview under the regulations is to be regarded as having, or not having, taken part in it;

(g) for securing that the appropriate consequence follows if a person who is required under the regulations to take part in a work-focused interview--

(i) fails to take part in the interview, and

(ii) does not, within a prescribed period, show that he had good cause for that failure;

(h) prescribing matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account in determining whether a person had good cause for any failure to comply with the regulations;

(i) prescribing circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be regarded as having good cause for any such failure.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(g), the appropriate consequence of a failure falling within that provision is that the amount payable to the person in question in respect of an employment and support allowance is reduced in accordance with regulations.

(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may, in particular, make provision for determining--

(a) the amount by which an allowance is to be reduced,

(b) when the reduction is to start, and

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