National Assistance Act 1948

Publication Date:January 01, 1948
 
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National Assistance Act, 1948

(11 & 12 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 29.

An Act to terminate the existing poor law and to provide in lieu thereof for the assistance of persons in need by the National Assistance Board and by local authorities; to make further provision for the welfare of disabled, sick, aged and other persons and for regulating homes for disabled and aged persons and charities for disabled persons; to amend the law relating to non-contributory old age pensions; to make provision as to the burial or cremation of deceased persons; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[13th May 1948]

B e it enacted by the King'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:—

I Introductory.

Part I.

Introductory.

S-1 Supersession of existing poor law.

1 Supersession of existing poor law.

The existing poor law shall cease to have effect, and shall be replaced by the provisions of Part II of this Act as to the rendering, out of moneys provided by Parliament, of assistance to persons in need, the provisions of Part III of this Act as to accommodation and other services to be provided by local authorities, and the related provisions of Part IV of this Act.

II National Assistance.

Part II.

National Assistance.

The Nation Assistance Board.

The Nation Assistance Board.

S-2 The National Assistance Board.

2 The National Assistance Board.

(1) The Assistance Board shall be known as the National Assistance Board, and in addition to the functions for the time being exercisable under any other enactment shall exercise the functions conferred on them by the following provisions of this Act.

(2) The National Assistance Board (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Board’) shall exercise their functions in such manner as shall best promote the welfare of persons affected by the exercise thereof.

(3) For the purpose of securing the prompt discharge of their functions under this Act, the Board shall by regulations provide for the local administration of their said functions and in particular, but subject to any arrangements for the discharge thereof by officers of another Government department or of a local authority, for the discharge by local officers of the Board of the functions of the Board in relation to applications for assistance and the decision of all questions arising thereon.

(4) Annual reports on the activities of the Board shall be made by the Board to the Minister of National Insurance, and the said Minister shall lay each report of the Board under this subsection before Parliament.

(5) The constitution and proceedings of the Board shall continue to be governed by the provisions set out in the First Schedule to this Act, being the provisions in that behalf of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1934 .

S-3 Advisory Committees.

3 Advisory Committees.

(1) For the purpose of securing that full use is made of the advice and assistance, both on general questions and on difficult individual cases, of persons having local knowledge and experience in matters affecting the functions of the Board the Board shall arrange for the establishment of advisory committees throughout Great Britain to act for such areas as the Board think fit.

(2) The Board shall pay to members of advisory committees appointed by the Board such travelling and other allowances (including compensation for loss of remunerative time) as the Board, after consultation with the Minister of National Insurance and with the consent of the Treasury, may determine.

Giving of Assistance by Board.

Giving of Assistance by Board.

S-4 Duty of Board to assist persons in need.

4 Duty of Board to assist persons in need.

It shall be the duty of the Board in accordance with the following provisions of this Part of this Act to assist persons in Great Britain who are without resources to meet their requirements, or whose resources (including benefits receivable under the National Insurance Acts, 1946) must be supplemented in order to meet their requirements.

S-5 Determination of need for assistance.

5 Determination of need for assistance.

(1) The question whether a person is in need of assistance and the nature and extent of any assistance to be givens to him, shall, subject to the provisions of this Act as to appeals, be decided by the Board.

(2) The Minister of National Insurance shall in accordance with the provisions of the next following section make regulations as to the computation of requirements and resources for the purposes of this Part of this Act and as to the decision of any such question as aforesaid, and the Board shall give effect to the relevant provisions of the regulations.

(3) Regulations under this section may make different provision for different classes of cases, and in particular shall make special provision for blind persons and persons who have suffered a loss of income in order to undergo treatment for tuberculosis of the respiratory system.

(4) Regulations under this section shall include provision for securing that the rules as to disregarding certain assets set out in the Second Schedule to this Act shall be observed in computing resources.

S-6 Preparation, making and coming into operation of regulations under section five.

6 Preparation, making and coming into operation of regulations under section five.

(1) The Board shall as soon as may be after the passing of this Act, and thereafter from time to time as occasion may require, prepare and submit to the Minister of National Insurance (in this section referred to as ‘the Minister’) draft regulations under the last foregoing section.

(2) The Minister shall consider any draft submitted to him under the last foregoing subsection and shall make draft regulations either in the form of the draft as submitted or with such variations and amendments as he thinks fit.

(3) Where the Minister makes any draft regulations otherwise than in the form of the draft submitted to him, then before making the draft regulations he shall inform the Board of the variations and amendments which he intends to make, the Board shall report to him thereon, and he shall consider the report.

(4) Any draft regulations made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after they are made, and, if the draft regulations so laid are made otherwise than in the form submitted to the Minister, there shall also be laid before Parliament a statement of the Minister's reasons for, and a copy of the report of the Board on, the variations and amendments made by him.

(5) If each House resolves that draft regulations made by the Minister under this section be approved, the Minister shall in the terms of the draft make regulations under the last foregoing section to take effect on such date as may be specified in the regulations.

S-7 Aggregation of requirements and resources.

7 Aggregation of requirements and resources.

(1) Where it appears to the Board that an applicant for assistance has to provide for requirements of some other person being a member of the same household, the Board shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, give assistance by reference to the aggregate requirements and aggregate resources of the applicant and the said other person.

(2) Where in the giving of assistance to an applicant therefor the requirements of another person are taken into account, that person is in this Act referred to as a dependant of the applicant.

(3) Where a husband and wife are members of the same household, their requirements and resources shall in all cases be aggregated for the purposes of this Part of this Act.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section, where it appears to the Board expedient so to do for the purpose of giving assistance in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of section eight or the provisions of section ten of this Act, the Board may decline to treat as a dependant of an applicant for assistance any person who has attained the age of sixteen years.

(5) No application for assistance shall be made by a person who has not attained the age of sixteen years, but nothing in this subsection shall prejudice the giving of assistance by reference to the requirements of any such person as a dependant of another person.

(6) Regulations under section five of this Act shall include provision for securing, in the case of a person being a member of a household,—

( a ) that the resources of any other member of the household, not being the husband or wife, or a dependant, of the said person, shall not be treated as resources of the said person;

( b ) that if he is the householder his resources shall, unless exceptional circumstances are shown, be deemed to include contributions at the prescribed rate towards the expenses of the household from members thereof who are not dependants of his:

Provided that paragraph ( b ) of this subsection shall not have effect in relation to a householder who is a blind person or the husband or wife of a blind person.

S-8 Assistance grants.

8 Assistance grants.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act the Board...

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