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DMG Memo Vol 1/93 & 9/19 WORK-FOCUSED INTERVIEWS: LONE PARENTS AND PARTNERS Contents Paragraphs Introduction 1 - 3 Definitions Meaning of relevant interview 4 Meaning of relevant benefit 5 Treated as responsible for a child aged under 1 6 Meaning of lone parent (Employm..

    DMG Memo Vol 1/93 & 9/19

     WORK-FOCUSED INTERVIEWS: LONE PARENTS AND

    PARTNERS

     Contents Paragraphs

     Introduction 1 - 3

     Definitions

     Meaning of relevant interview 4

     Meaning of relevant benefit 5

     Treated as responsible for a

     child aged under 1 6

     Meaning of lone parent

     (Employment and Support Allowance) 7

     Lone parents claiming Income Support 8

     Claimants entitled to Income Support,

     Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance

     Lone parents with child aged under 7 9 - 11

     Lone parents with child aged 7 or over

     and other claimants 12 - 15

     Timing of interview 16

     Lone parents with child aged under 7

     - initial interview 17

     Lone parents with child aged under 7

     - subsequent interview 18

     Lone parents with child aged 7 or over

     and other claimants 19 - 20

     Lone parents and partners - child aged under one

     Lone parents 21

     Partners 22

     Cessation of reduction

     Existing reductions 23 - 24

     New reductions 25 - 26

     Annotations

     Contacts

     INTRODUCTION

    1. This memo gives guidance on the SS (Work-focused Interviews for Lone

    Parents and Partners) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 12011. The regulations came into force on 31.10.11. They amend 2specified legislation relating to lone parents and partners who are

    required to take part in a work-focused interview. See DMG Chapter 05

    for full guidance.

    1 SR 2011 No. 368; 2 SS (WfI for lone parents) Regs (NI) 2001; SS (WFI Interviews) Regs (NI) 03;

    ESA Regs (NI) 2008; SS (WfI Interviews for partners) Regs (NI) 03, SS IBWFI) Regs (NI) 08

2. The regulations

     1. remove the requirement for lone parents with a child aged under 7

    who make a claim for Income Support to take part in an initial work-1focused interview before an award of Income Support is made

     2. remove the requirement to take part in a work-focused interview for

    lone parents who

     2.1 are entitled to Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Severe

    Disablement Allowance or Employment and Support

    Allowance and

     2 2.2 have a child under the age of one

     3. remove the requirement to take part in a work-focused interview for

    partners of claimants entitled to

     3.1 Income Support

     3.2 Incapacity Benefit

     3.3 Severe Disablement Allowance

     3.4 income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance other than joint

    claims

     3.5 income-related Employment and Support Allowance

     3 where the couple has a child under the age of one

     4. amend the existing work-focused interview requirements for lone 4parents

     5. amend the time when an interview takes place under specified 5legislation.

    1 SS (WfI for LP & P)(Amdt) Regs (NI) 2011, reg 2(3) & 3(3); 2 reg 2(7), 3(9), 5(3) & 6(3);

    3 reg 4(3); 4 reg 2(3) & (5) and reg 3(4) & (5); 5 reg 3)7)

3. The regulations also remove the definition of “lone parent” for the 1purposes of Employment and Support Allowance. This change is

    because a definition of lone parent has been added to specified 2Employment and Support Allowance legislation. See paragraph 7

    below.

    1 SS (WfI for LP & P)(Amdt) Regs (NI) 2011, reg 5(2)(a) & 7; ESA Regs (NI), reg 2(1); ESA(WRA)

    Regs (NI), reg 2(1);

    2 WR Act (NI) 07, sec 24(3A)

     DEFINITIONS

     Meaning of relevant interview

    4. A relevant interview means an interview in relation to

     1 1. a lone parent’s current award of Income Support or

     2. a claimant’s current award of a specified benefit (see DMG 5316 for 2the meaning of specified benefit).

     In this memo, a relevant interview is referred to as a work-focused

    interview.

    1 SS (WfI for lone parents) Regs (NI) 2001, reg 1 (2); 2 SS (WfI) Regs (NI) 2003, reg 1(3)

     Meaning of relevant benefit

     15. Relevant benefit means Income Support other than Income Support

    where the claimant is

     1. incapable or treated as incapable of work or entitled to Statutory 2Sick Pay or

     2. pursuing an appeal against a decision embodying a determination 3that they are not incapable of work.

    1 SS (WfI) Regs (NI) 2003, reg 1(3); 2 IS (Gen) Regs (NI) 1987, Sch 1B para 7; 3 paras 24 & 25

    Treated as responsible for a child aged under one

    6. A lone parent, claimant or partner is treated as responsible for, and a

    member of the same household as, a child aged under one in 1accordance with Income Support legislation - see DMG 22031 et seq.

    1 IS (Gen) Regs (NI) 1987, reg 15 & 16; SS (WfI for lone parents) Regs (NI) 2001, reg 1(4); SS (WfI)

    Regs (NI) 2003, reg 1(4A); ESA Regs (NI), reg 2(7); SS (IBWFI) Regs (NI) 08, reg 2(6)

     Meaning of lone parent (Employment and Support Allowance)

7. From 31.10.11, for the purposes of Employment and Support Allowance 1a lone parent is a person who is

     2 1. not a member of a couple and

     2. responsible for and a member of the same household as a person

    under the age of 16.

    1 WR Act (NI) 07, sec 24(3A); 2 SS C&B (NI) Act 02, sec 133(1)

     LONE PARENTS CLAIMING INCOME SUPPORT

8. From 31.10.11 a lone parent who

    1. makes a claim for Income Support and

     2. is responsible for and a member of the same household as a child

    aged under 7

     is no longer required to take part in an initial work-focused interview 1before the claim is determined. The guidance at DMG 5015, 5030 and

    5316 no longer applies.

    1 SS (WfI for lone parents) Regs (NI) 2001, reg 2(2); SS (WfI) Regs (NI) 03, reg 2(1)(d)

     CLAIMANTS ENTITLED TO INCOME SUPPORT, INCAPACITY

    BENEFIT OR SEVERE DISABLEMENT ALLOWANCE

     Lone parents with child aged under 7

9. Where a lone parent

     1. is entitled to Income Support and

    2. is in the lone parent prescribed category of person (see DMG

    20082 et seq), that is, their only or youngest child is aged under 7

    and

    3. has not reached pensionable age