Session 2010 - 12
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Welfare Reform Bill


Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 1 — Entitlement and awards

1

 

A

Bill

[AS AMENDED IN GRAND 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

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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.

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(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

 

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Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 1 — Entitlement and awards

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(d)   

amounts for other particular needs or circumstances.

2       

Claims

(1)   

A claim may be made for universal credit by—

(a)   

a single person, or

(b)   

members of a couple jointly.

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(2)   

Regulations 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—

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(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.

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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,

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(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).

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(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—

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(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

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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.

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Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 1 — Entitlement and awards

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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)   

For the purposes of section 3, the financial conditions for a single claimant are

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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

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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

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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)   

in prescribed circumstances (even though the requirements in section 3

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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.

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(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

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Basis of awards

(1)   

Universal credit is payable in respect of each complete assessment period

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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

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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.

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Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 1 — Entitlement and awards

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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)   

The maximum amount is the total of—

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(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

10

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

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(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

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(b)   

in the case of joint claimants, to combined income of the claimants.

Elements of an award

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Standard allowance

(1)   

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

of an allowance for—

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(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).

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Responsibility for children and young persons

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(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

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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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Revised 29 November 2011