Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014

17.

Extension of notice of attachment to other State payments

17. The Principal Act is amended—

(a) in section 343A, by inserting the following definition:

“‘public body’ means—

(a) a Department of State,

(b) a local authority, or

(c) a body established by any enactment.”,

(b) in section 343B(2) (a), by substituting the following subparagraph for subparagraph (i):

“(i) repay the relevant amount, or”,

(c) by inserting the following section after section 343F:

“Attachment of money from State

343FA. (1) For the purposes of a notice of attachment, where a relevant person is a Minister of the Government (including the Minister) or a public body, any amount of money, including interest on that money, which at the time the notice of attachment is received by the relevant person is—

(a) to be paid to the overpaid person for the overpaid person’s sole benefit, or

(b) to be paid to the overpaid person and any other person or persons for their joint benefit,

under any enactment that may be prescribed, shall be regarded as a debt due by the relevant person to the overpaid person at that time.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), where subsection (1) applies, the amount due to the overpaid person and any other person or persons (in this subsection referred to as the ‘other party or parties’) for their joint benefit shall be deemed to be due to the overpaid person and the other party or parties in equal shares, and accordingly only the portion of the amount due so deemed shall be regarded as a debt due by the relevant person to the overpaid person.

(3) Where evidence of the amount referred to in subsection (2) that is due to the overpaid person is produced to the satisfaction of the relevant person within 10 days of the giving of the notice under section 343H(5A), only so much of the amount as is shown to be due to the overpaid person shall be regarded as a debt due by the relevant person to the overpaid person at that time.

(4) Where a notice of attachment is given to a relevant person who is a Minister of the Government (including the Minister) or a public body, the Minister, in addition to considering the matters under section 343C, shall not specify an amount in the notice that exceeds an amount that will cause the overpaid person to become entitled to claim for supplementary welfare allowance under section 196.

(5) Where, under section 343H any amount is paid to the Minister by a relevant person who is a Minister of the Government (including the Minister) or a public body in accordance with a notice of attachment, that relevant person, within 10 days and in such manner and form as directed in the notice of attachment, shall give the overpaid person concerned a notice in writing informing him or her of the payment and its amount.”,

and

(d) in section 343H, by inserting the following subsection after subsection (5):

(5A) Where a relevant person who is a Minister of the Government (including the Minister) or a public body is given a notice of attachment and the debt due by the relevant person to the overpaid person is part of an amount due to the overpaid person and any other person or persons (in this subsection referred to as the ‘other party or parties’) for their joint benefit, the relevant person shall on receipt of the notice of attachment give to the overpaid person and the other party or parties a notice in writing in which is entered—

(a) the overpaid person’s name and address,

(b) the name and address of the other party or parties to whom a notice under this subsection is given,

(c) the name and address of the relevant person, and

(d) the specified relevant amount,

and which states that—

(i) a notice of attachment under this section has been received in respect of the overpaid person,

(ii) under section 343FA(2) an amount is deemed, subject to section 343FA(3), to be due to the overpaid person and the other party or parties equally, and

(iii) unless such evidence, referred to in section 343FA(3) is produced within 10 days of the giving of the notice under this subsection—

(I) an amount equal to the amount deemed due to the overpaid person (and accordingly regarded as a debt due to the overpaid person by the relevant person) shall be paid to the Minister, where that amount is equal to or less than the relevant amount, and

(II) where the amount so deemed to be due to the overpaid person (and accordingly regarded as a debt due to the overpaid person by the relevant person) is greater than the relevant amount an amount equal to the relevant amount shall be paid to the Minister.”.