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A BILL

[AS AMENDED IN PUBLIC BILL COMMITTEE]

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 for connected purposes.

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 Universal credit

CHAPTER 1 Entitlement and awards

Introductory

1 5Universal 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) 10An 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.

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2 Claims

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

(a) a single person, or

(b) members of a couple jointly.

(2) 5Regulations may specify circumstances in which a member of a couple may

make a claim as a single person.

Entitlement

3 Entitlement

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

(a) 10the 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.

4 15Basic 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) 20is 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) 25For 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) 30specify 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

35Britain 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.

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(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.

5 Financial conditions

(1) 5For 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

10universal 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) 15their combined income is such that, if they were entitled to universal

credit, the amount payable would not be less than any prescribed

minimum.

6 Restrictions on entitlement

(1) Entitlement to universal credit does not arise—

(a) 20in 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

25requirements 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

7 Basis of awards

(1) 30Universal 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) 35for 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

40entitlement to universal credit subsists.

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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)

5The 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) 10any 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

15a 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) 20in 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

9 Standard allowance

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

25of 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).

10 30Responsibility 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) 35Regulations are to specify, or provide for the calculation of, amounts to be

included under subsection (1) or (2).

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

(5) In this Part, “qualifying young person” means a person of a prescribed

description.

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11 Housing costs

(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount in

respect of any liability of a claimant to make payments in respect of the

accommodation they occupy as their home.

(2) 5For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a) the accommodation must be in Great Britain;

(b) the accommodation must be residential accommodation;

(c) it is immaterial whether the accommodation consists of the whole or

part of a building and whether or not it comprises separate and self-

10contained premises.

(3) Regulations may make provision as to—

(a) what is meant by payments in respect of accommodation for the

purposes of this section (and, in particular, the extent to which such

payments include mortgage payments);

(b) 15circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as liable or not liable

to make such payments;

(c) circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as occupying or not

occupying accommodation as their home (and, in particular, for

temporary absences to be disregarded);

(d) 20circumstances in which land used for the purposes of any

accommodation is to be treated as included in the accommodation.

(4) Regulations are to provide for the determination or calculation of any amount

to be included under this section.

(5) Regulations may—

(a) 25provide for exceptions to subsection (1);

(b) provide for inclusion of an amount under this section in the calculation

of an award of universal credit—

(i) to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii) not to start until a prescribed time.

12 30Other particular needs or circumstances

(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include amounts in respect

of such particular needs or circumstances of a claimant as may be prescribed.

(2) The needs or circumstances prescribed under subsection (1) may include—

(a) the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work;

(b) 35the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work and work-

related activity;

(c) the fact that a claimant has regular and substantial caring

responsibilities for a severely disabled person.

(3) Regulations are to specify, or provide for the determination or calculation of,

40any amount to be included under subsection (1).

(4) Regulations may—

(a) provide for inclusion of an amount under this section in the calculation

of an award of universal credit—

(i) to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii) 45not to start until a prescribed time;

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(b) provide for the manner in which a claimant’s needs or circumstances

are to be determined.

CHAPTER 2 Claimant responsibilities

Introductory

13 5Work-related requirements: introductory

(1) This Chapter provides for the Secretary of State to impose work-related

requirements with which claimants must comply for the purposes of this Part.

(2) In this Part “work-related requirement” means—

(a) a work-focused interview requirement (see section 15);

(b) 10a work preparation requirement (see section 16);

(c) a work search requirement (see section 17);

(d) a work availability requirement (see section 18).

(3) The work-related requirements which may be imposed on a claimant depend

on which of the following groups the claimant falls into—

(a) 15no work-related requirements (see section 19);

(b) work-focused interview requirement only (see section 20);

(c) work-focused interview and work preparation requirements only (see

section 21);

(d) all work-related requirements (see section 22).

14 20Claimant commitment

(1) A claimant commitment is a record of a claimant’s responsibilities in relation

to an award of universal credit.

(2) A claimant commitment is to be prepared by the Secretary of State and may be

reviewed and updated as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3) 25A claimant commitment is to be in such form as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(4) A claimant commitment is to include—

(a) a record of the requirements that the claimant must comply with under

this Part (or such of them as the Secretary of State considers it

appropriate to include),

(b) 30any prescribed information, and

(c) any other information the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to

include.

(5) For the purposes of this Part a claimant accepts a claimant commitment if, and

only if, the claimant accepts the most up-to-date version of it in such manner

35as may be prescribed.

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Work-related requirements

15 Work-focused interview requirement

(1) In this Part a “work-focused interview requirement” is a requirement that a

claimant participate in one or more work-focused interviews as specified by

5the Secretary of State.

(2) A work-focused interview is an interview for prescribed purposes relating to

work or work preparation.

(3) The purposes which may be prescribed under subsection (2) include in

particular that of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State

10that the claimant will obtain paid work (or more paid work or better-paid

work).

(4) The Secretary of State may specify how, when and where a work-focused

interview is to take place.

16 Work preparation requirement

(1) 15In this Part a “work preparation requirement” is a requirement that a claimant

take particular action specified by the Secretary of State for the purpose of

making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State that the claimant

will obtain paid work (or more paid work or better-paid work).

(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be devoted

20to any particular action.

(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in particular—

(a) attending a skills assessment;

(b) improving personal presentation;

(c) participating in training;

(d) 25participating in an employment programme;

(e) undertaking work experience or a work placement;

(f) developing a business plan;

(g) any action prescribed for the purpose in subsection (1).

(4) In the case of a person with limited capability for work, the action which may

30be specified under subsection (1) includes taking part in a work-focused

health-related assessment.

(5) In subsection (4) “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) 35the extent to which the person’s capability for work may be improved

by taking steps in relation to their physical or mental condition, and

(b) such other matters relating to their physical or mental condition and

the likelihood of their obtaining or remaining in work or being able to

do so as may be prescribed.

(6)

40In subsection (5) “health care professional” means—

(a) a registered medical practitioner,

(b) a registered nurse,

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(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, or

(d) a member of such other profession regulated by a body mentioned in

5section 25(3) of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care

Professions Act 2002 as may be prescribed.

17 Work search requirement

(1) In this Part a “work search requirement” is a requirement that a claimant

take—

(a) 10all reasonable action, and

(b) any particular action specified by the Secretary of State,

for the purpose of obtaining paid work (or more paid work or better-paid

work).

(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1)(b) specify the time to be

15devoted to any particular action.

(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1)(b) includes in particular—

(a) carrying out work searches;

(b) making applications;

(c) creating and maintaining an online profile;

(d) 20registering with an employment agency;

(e) seeking references;

(f) any action prescribed for the purpose in subsection (1).

(4) Regulations may impose limitations on a work search requirement by

reference to the work to which it relates; and the Secretary of State may in any

25particular case specify further such limitations on such a requirement.

(5) A limitation under subsection (4) may in particular be by reference to—

(a) work of a particular nature,

(b) work with a particular level of remuneration,

(c) work in particular locations, or

(d) 30work available for a certain number of hours per week or at particular

times,

and may be indefinite or for a particular period.

18 Work availability requirement

(1) In this Part a “work availability requirement” is a requirement that a claimant

35be available for work.

(2) For the purposes of this section “available for work” means able and willing

immediately to take up paid work (or more paid work or better-paid work).

(3) Regulations may impose limitations on a work availability requirement by

reference to the work to which it relates; and the Secretary of State may in any

40particular case specify further such limitations on such a requirement.

(4) A limitation under subsection (3) may in particular be by reference to—

(a) work of a particular nature,

(b) work with a particular level of remuneration,

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(c) work in particular locations, or

(d) work available for a certain number of hours per week or at particular

times,

and may be indefinite or for a particular period.

(5) 5Regulations may for the purposes of subsection (2) define what is meant by a

person being able and willing immediately to take up work.

Application of work-related requirements

19 Claimants subject to no work-related requirements

(1) The Secretary of State may not impose any work-related requirement on a

10claimant falling within this section.

(2) A claimant falls within this section if—

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

(b) the claimant has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a

severely disabled person,

(c) 15the claimant is the responsible carer for a child under the age of 1, or

(d) the claimant is of a prescribed description.

(3) Regulations under subsection (2)(d) may in particular make provision by

reference to one or more of the following—

(a) hours worked;

(b) 20earnings or income;

(c) the amount of universal credit payable.

(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may—

(a) in the case of a claimant who is a member of the couple, make provision

by reference to the claimant alone or by reference to the members of the

25couple together;

(b) make provision for estimating or calculating any matter for the purpose

of the regulations.

(5) Where a claimant falls within this section, any work-related requirement

previously applying to the claimant ceases to have effect.

(6) 30In this Part “responsible carer”, in relation to a child means—

(a) a single person who is responsible for the child, or

(b) a person who is a member of a couple where—

(i) the person or the other member of the couple is responsible for

the child, and

(ii) 35the person has been nominated by the couple jointly as

responsible for the child.

20 Claimants subject to work-focused interview requirement only

(1) A claimant falls within this section if—

(a) the claimant is the responsible carer for a child who is aged at least 1

40and is under a prescribed age (which may not be less than 3), or

(b) the claimant is of a prescribed description.

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