Welfare Reform Act 2012

Publication Date:January 01, 2012
 
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Welfare Reform Act 2012

2012 CHAPTER 5

An Act to make provision for universal credit and personal independence payment; to make other provision about social security and tax credits; to make provision about the functions of the registration service, child support maintenance and the use of jobcentres; to establish the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and otherwise amend the Child Poverty Act 2010; and for connected purposes.

[8th March 2012]

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:-

1 Universal credit

Part 1

Universal credit

CHAPTER 1

Entitlement and awards

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 Universal credit

1 Universal credit

(1) A benefit known as universal credit is payable in accordance with this Part.

(2) Universal credit may, subject as follows, be awarded to-

(a) an individual who is not a member of a couple (a "single person"), or

(b) members of a couple jointly.

(3) An award of universal credit is, subject as follows, calculated by reference to-

(a) a standard allowance

(b) an amount for responsibility for children or young persons

(c) an amount for housing, and

(d) amounts for other particular needs or circumstances.

S-2 Claims

2 Claims

(1) A claim may be made for universal credit by-

(a) a single person, o r

(b) members of a couple jointly.

(2) Regulations may specify circumstances in which a member of a couple may make a claim as a single person.

Entitlement

Entitlement

S-3 Entitlement

3 Entitlement

(1) A single claimant is entitled to universal credit if the claimant meets-

(a) the basic conditions, and

(b) the financial conditions for a single claimant.

(2) Joint claimants are jointly entitled to universal credit if-

(a) each of them meets the basic conditions, and

(b) they meet the financial conditions for joint claimants.

S-4 Basic conditions

4 Basic conditions

(1) For the purposes of section 3, a person meets the basic conditions who-

(a) is at least 18 years old

(b) has not reached the qualifying age for state pension credit

(c) is in Great Britain

(d) is not receiving education, and

(e) has accepted a claimant commitment.

(2) Regulations may provide for exceptions to the requirement to meet any of the basic conditions (and, for joint claimants, may provide for an exception for one or both).

(3) For the basic condition in subsection (1)(a) regulations may specify a different minimum age for prescribed cases.

(4) For the basic condition in subsection (1)(b), the qualifying age for state pension credit is that referred to in section 1(6) of the State Pension Credit Act 2002.

(5) For the basic condition in subsection (1)(c) regulations may-

(a) specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as being or not being in Great Britain;

(b) specify circumstances in which temporary absence from Great Britain is disregarded;

(c) modify the application of this Part in relation to a person not in Great Britain who is by virtue of paragraph (b) entitled to universal credit.

(6) For the basic condition in subsection (1)(d) regulations may-

(a) specify what "receiving education" means;

(b) specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as receiving or not receiving education.

(7) For the basic condition in subsection (1)(e) regulations may specify circumstances in which a person is to be treated as having accepted or not accepted a claimant commitment.

S-5 Financial conditions

5 Financial conditions

(1) For the purposes of section 3, the financial conditions for a single claimant are that-

(a) the claimant's capital, or a prescribed part of it, is not greater than a prescribed amount, and

(b) the claimant's income is such that, if the claimant were entitled to universal credit, the amount payable would not be less than any prescribed minimum.

(2) For those purposes, the financial conditions for joint claimants are that-

(a) their combined capital, or a prescribed part of it, is not greater than a prescribed amount, and

(b) their combined income is such that, if they were entitled to universal credit, the amount payable would not be less than any prescribed minimum.

S-6 Restrictions on entitlement

6 Restrictions on entitlement

(1) Entitlement to universal credit does not arise-

(a) in prescribed circumstances (even though the requirements in section 3 are met);

(b) if the requirements in section 3 are met for a period shorter than a prescribed period;

(c) for a prescribed period at the beginning of a period during which those requirements are met.

(2) A period prescribed under subsection (1)(b) or (c) may not exceed seven days.

(3) Regulations may provide for exceptions to subsection (1)(b) or (c).

Awards

Awards

S-7 Basis of awards

7 Basis of awards

(1) Universal credit is payable in respect of each complete assessment period within a period of entitlement.

(2) In this Part an "assessment period" is a period of a prescribed duration.

(3) Regulations may make provision-

(a) about when an assessment period is to start;

(b) for universal credit to be payable in respect of a period shorter than an assessment period;

(c) about the amount payable in respect of a period shorter than an assessment period.

(4) In subsection (1) "period of entitlement" means a period during which entitlement to universal credit subsists.

S-8 Calculation of awards

8 Calculation of awards

(1) The amount of an award of universal credit is to be the balance of-

(a) the maximum amount (see subsection (2)), less

(b) the amounts to be deducted (see subsection (3)).

(2) The maximum amount is the total of-

(a) any amount included under section 9 (standard allowance),

(b) any amount included under section 10 (responsibility for children and young persons),

(c) any amount included under section 11 (housing costs), and

(d) any amount included under section 12 (other particular needs or circumstances).

(3) The amounts to be deducted are-

(a) an amount in respect of earned income calculated in the prescribed manner (which may include multiplying some or all earned income by a prescribed percentage), and

(b) an amount in respect of unearned income calculated in the prescribed manner (which may include multiplying some or all unearned income by a prescribed percentage).

(4) In subsection (3)(a) and (b) the references to income are-

(a) in the case of a single claimant, to income of the claimant, and

(b) in the case of joint claimants, to combined income of the claimants.

Elements of an award

Elements of an award

S-9 Standard allowance

9 Standard allowance

(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount by way of an allowance for-

(a) a single claimant, or

(b) joint claimants.

(2) Regulations are to specify the amount to be included under subsection (1).

(3) Regulations may provide for exceptions to subsection (1).

S-10 Responsibility for children and young persons

10 Responsibility for children and young persons

(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount for each child or qualifying young person for whom a claimant is responsible.

(2) Regulations may make provision for the inclusion of an additional amount if such a child or qualifying young person is disabled.

(3) Regulations are to specify, or provide for the calculation of, amounts to be included under subsection (1) or (2).

(4) Regulations may provide for...

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