Previous Next

Contents page 1-9 10-18 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-99 100-109 Last page

A

BILL

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

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.

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,

Welfare Reform BillPage 2

(c) an amount for housing, and

(d) amounts for other particular needs or circumstances.

2 Claims

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

(a) 5a single person, or

(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

3 10Entitlement

(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) 15each of them meets the basic conditions, and

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

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) 20has 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
25basic 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
30credit 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
35is 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;

Welfare Reform BillPage 3

(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
5accepted a claimant commitment.

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
10prescribed 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) 15their 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.

6 20Restrictions 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
25prescribed 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).

30Awards

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) 35Regulations 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
40assessment period.

Welfare Reform BillPage 4

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

8 Calculation of awards

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

(a) 5the 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
10young 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) 15an 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
20by 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

9 25Standard 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) 30Regulations are to specify the amount to be included under subsection (1).

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

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) 35Regulations 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 exceptions to subsection (1).

Welfare Reform BillPage 5

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

11 Housing costs

(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit, subject to subsection (4), is to
5include an amount in respect of any liability of a claimant to make payments in
respect of the accommodation they occupy as their home.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)

(a) the accommodation must be in Great Britain;

(b) the accommodation must be residential accommodation;

(c) 10it is immaterial whether the accommodation consists of the whole or
part of a building and whether or not it comprises separate and self-
contained premises.

(3) Regulations may make provision as to—

(a) what is meant by payments in respect of accommodation for the
15purposes of this section (and, in particular, the extent to which such
payments include mortgage payments);

(b) circumstances 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
20occupying accommodation as their home (and, in particular, for
temporary absences to be disregarded);

(d) circumstances in which land used for the purposes of any
accommodation is to be treated as included in the accommodation.

(4) In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a
25registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative
accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and
provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this section
shall not permit the housing cost element of the universal credit to be less than
the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than
30one spare bedroom.

(5) Regulations are to provide for the determination or calculation of any amount
to be included under this section.

(6) Regulations shall not permit any reduction of housing benefit or amounts
included for accommodation in an award of universal credit in respect of
35under occupation, deemed or actual, where—

(a) the landlord is a local authority or a registered provider of social
housing, and

(b) any such landlord is not able to offer suitable alternative
accommodation which would not cause a person to under occupy.

(7) 40Regulations may make provision for determining when accommodation is
suitable for the purposes of these provisions.

(8) Regulations may—

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

(b) provide for inclusion of an amount under this section in the calculation
45of an award of universal credit—

(i) to end at a prescribed time, or

Welfare Reform BillPage 6

(ii) not to start until a prescribed time.

12 Other 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) 5The needs or circumstances prescribed under subsection (1) may include—

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

(b) the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work and work-
related activity;

(c) the fact that a claimant has regular and substantial caring
10responsibilities for a severely disabled person.

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

(4) Regulations may—

(a) provide for inclusion of an amount under this section in the calculation
15of an award of universal credit—

(i) to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii) not to start until a prescribed time;

(b) provide for the manner in which a claimant’s needs or circumstances
are to be determined.

CHAPTER 2 20Claimant responsibilities

Introductory

13 Work-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) 25In this Part “work-related requirement” means—

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

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

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

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

(3) 30The work-related requirements which may be imposed on a claimant depend
on which of the following groups the claimant falls into—

(a) no 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
35section 21);

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

Welfare Reform BillPage 7

14 Claimant 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
5reviewed and updated as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3) A 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
10appropriate to include),

(b) any 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
15only if, the claimant accepts the most up-to-date version of it in such manner
as may be prescribed.

Work-related requirements

15 Work-focused interview requirement

(1) In this Part a “work-focused interview requirement” is a requirement that a
20claimant participate in one or more work-focused interviews as specified by
the 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
25particular that 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).

(4) The Secretary of State may specify how, when and where a work-focused
interview is to take place.

16 30Work preparation requirement

(1) In 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) 35The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be devoted
to 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) 40participating in training;

(d) participating in an employment programme;

Welfare Reform BillPage 8

(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
5be 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) 10the 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)
15In subsection (5) “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
20the Health Act 1999, 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 as may be prescribed.

17 Work search requirement

(1) 25In this Part a “work search requirement” is a requirement that a claimant
take—

(a) all 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
30work).

(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1)(b) specify the time to be
devoted to any particular action.

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

(a) carrying out work searches;

(b) 35making applications;

(c) creating and maintaining an online profile;

(d) registering with an employment agency;

(e) seeking references;

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

(4) 40Regulations 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
particular 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) 45work with a particular level of remuneration,

Welfare Reform BillPage 9

(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.

18 5Work availability requirement

(1) In this Part a “work availability requirement” is a requirement that a claimant
be 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) 10Regulations 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
particular 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) 15work with a particular level of remuneration,

(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) 20Regulations 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
25claimant 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) 30the 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) 35earnings 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
40couple together;

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

Previous Next

Contents page 1-9 10-18 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-99 100-109 Last page