Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report


APPENDIX 2

Memorandum from the Department for Work and Pensions

SOCIAL FUND MATERNITY AND FUNERAL EXPENSES (GENERAL) AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2002 (S.I. 2002/79)

1. The Joint Committee has requested that the Department submit a memorandum concerning the above Regulations on the following point-

Explain (i) the intended effect of paragraph (3) of regulation 3 and in particular the words preceding sub-paragraph (a), given that paragraph (2) provides for a grant of £500; and (ii) why paragraph (2) is expressed to be subject to paragraph (3), given that the latter does not appear to qualify the former.

2. (i) Paragraph (3) of regulation 3 is concerned with a case to which paragraph (2) of that regulation applies, that is to say, a case where a claim is made for a Sure Start Maternity Grant before 16th June 2002 in respect of a child born (including any still-born) on or after that date. The prescribed time for claiming a Sure Start Maternity Grant is specified in regulation 3(1) of the Regulations as being the appropriate time within which it may be claimed pursuant to regulation 19 of, and Schedule 4 to, the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/1968): paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 specifies the appropriate time in relation to such a claim as being the period beginning 11 weeks before the first day of the expected week of confinement and ending 3 months after the actual date of confinement.

3. Where a claim is made prior to the date of birth, information as to the expected date of confinement will be required in support of the claim and a decision to award a payment pursuant to that claim will be made on the basis of information as to that estimated date. It will often be the case, however, that the actual date of birth is later than the expected date of birth.

4. Thus, where a claim is made on, for example, 6th April 2002 and the expected date of confinement is 6th June 2002, a decision will have been made, on the basis of the expected date of birth, to award a payment of £300. If, though, the actual date of birth is, say 18th June 2002, then paragraph (2) of regulation 3 of the Regulations will come into play, with the consequence that the amount of the Sure Start Maternity Grant to which, subject to the provisions of paragraph (3), the claimant is entitled, will be £500. As a decision has already been made in this case that the amount of the grant is £300, the provisions of paragraph (3) of regulation 3 are also applicable, with the consequence that the decision may be revised under section 9 of the Social Security Act 1998 (revision of decisions) and any payment made pursuant to that decision will be offset against any amount payable pursuant to the revision under section 9.

5. (ii) Paragraph (2) of regulation 3 is expressed to be subject to paragraph (3) since, where a decision has been made in a case to which paragraph (2) applies that the amount of the grant is £300, revision of the decision under section 9 of the Social Security Act 1998 to award £500 under regulation 3(2) is subject to the time limits specified in sub-paragraph (a), and any payment made pursuant to the decision before revision is to be offset against any amount payable pursuant to the revision.

13th March 2002


 
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