Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1987/1971

1987 No. 1971


The Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987

Made 20th November 1987

Whereas a draft of this instrument was laid before Parliament in accordance with section 83(3) of the Social Security Act 1986 and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament–

Now therefore the Secretary of State for Social Services in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by sections 20(1)(c), (8), (11) and (12), 21(5), (6)(b) and (7), 22, 28(2) and (5), 29, 51(1)(a) to (c), (g), (h), (k) to (m), (n), (q) to (u) and 84(1) of the Social Security Act 19861and section 166(1) to (3A) of the Social Security Act 19752and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, after consultation with organisations appearing to him to be representative of authorities concerned3, by this instrument, which is made before the end of a period of 12 months from the commencement of the enactments under which it is made, hereby makes the following Regulations–




S-1 Citation and commencement

Citation and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 and shall come into force


(a) in any case to which paragraph (2)(a) or (b) applies, on 1st April 1988, and


(b) in any other case, on 4th April 1988.

(2) This paragraph applies in any case where–


(a) rent is payable at intervals of one month or any other interval which is not a week or a multiple thereof; or


(b) payments by way of rates are not made together with payments of rent at weekly intervals or multiples thereof.

S-2 Interpretation


2.—(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires–

“the Act” means the Social Security Act 19864;

“appropriate DHSS office” means an office of the Department of Health and Social Security which is normally open to the public for the receipt of claims for income support and includes an office of the Department of Employment which is normally open to the public for the receipt of claims for unemployment benefit;

“assessment period” means such period as is prescribed in regulations 22 to 24 over which income falls to be calculated;

“attendance allowance” means:–

(a) an attendance allowance under section 35 of the Social Security Act5;

(b) an increase of disablement pension under section 61 of that Act;

(c) a payment under regulations made in exercise of the power conferred by section 159(3)(b) of that Act;

(d) an increase of an allowance which is payable in respect of constant attendance under section 5 of the Industrial Injuries and Diseases (Old Cases) Act 19756;

(e) a payment by virtue of article 14, 15, 16, 43 or 44 of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 19837or any analogous payment; or

(f) any payment based on need for attendance which is paid as part of a war disablement pension;

“benefit period” has the meaning given to it in regulation 66;

“benefit week” means a period of 7 consecutive days commencing upon a Monday and ending on a Sunday;

“boarder” means a person who pays a charge for his accommodation and at least some cooked or prepared meals which are both prepared and consumed in that accommodation or associated premises;

“child” means a person under the age of 16;

“claim” means a claim for housing benefit;

“claimant” means a person claiming housing benefit;

“close relative” means a parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister, or the spouse of any of the preceding persons or, if that person is one of an unmarried couple, the other member of that couple;

“concessionary payment” means a payment made under arrangements made by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury which is charged either to the National Insurance Fund or to a Departmental Expenditure Vote to which payments of benefit under the Act, the Social Security Act or the Child Benefit Act 19758are charged;

“co-ownership scheme” means a scheme under which the dwelling is let by a housing association and the tenant, or his personal representative, will, under the terms of the tenancy agreement or of the agreement under which he became a member of the association, be entitled, on his ceasing to be a member and subject to any conditions stated in either agreement, to a sum calculated by reference directly or indirectly to the value of the dwelling;

“Crown tenant” means a person who occupies a dwelling under a tenancy or licence where the interest of the landlord belongs to Her Majesty in right of the Crown or to a government department or is held in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of a government department, except (in the case of an interest belonging to Her Majesty in right of the Crown) where the interest is under the management of the Crown Estate Commissioners;

“designated office” means the office designated by the appropriate authority, by way of notice upon a form approved by them for the purpose of claiming housing benefit, for the receipt of claims to housing benefit;

“earnings” has the meaning prescribed in regulation 28 or, as the case may be, 30;

“eligible rates” is to be construed in accordance with regulation 9;

“eligible rent” is to be construed in accordance with regulation 10;

“employed earner” is to be construed in accordance with section 2(1)(a) of the Social Security Act;

“family” has the meaning assigned to it by section 20(11) of the Act;

“housing association” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(1) of the Housing Associations Act 19859;

“invalid carriage or other vehicle” means a vehicle propelled by petrol engine or by electric power supplied for use on the road and to be controlled by the occupant;

“lone parent” means a person who is not a partner and who is responsible for and a member of the same household as a child or young person;

“long tenancy” means a tenancy granted for a term of years certain exceeding twenty one years, whether or not the tenancy is, or may become, terminable before the end of that term by notice given by or to the tenant or by re-entry, forfeiture (or, in Scotland, irritancy) or otherwise and includes a lease for a term fixed by law under a grant with a covenant or obligation for perpetual renewal unless it is a lease by sub-demise from one which is not a long tenancy;

“married couple” has the meaning assigned to it by section 20(11) of the Act;

“net earnings” means such earnings as are calculated in accordance with regulation 29;

“net profit” means such profit as is calculated in accordance with regulation 31;

“non-dependant” has the meaning prescribed in regulation 3;

“non-dependant deduction” means a deduction that is to be made under regulation 63;

“occupational pension” means any pension or other periodical payment under an occupational pension scheme but does not include any discretionary payment out of a fund established for relieving hardship in particular cases;

“owner” means:–

(a) in relation to a dwelling in England and Wales, the person who, otherwise than as a mortgagee in possession, is for the time being entitled to dispose of the fee simple, whether or not with the consent of other joint owners;

(b) in relation to a dwelling in Scotland, the proprietor under udal tenure or the proprietor of the dominion utile or the tenant’s or the lessee’s interest in a long tenancy, a kindly tenancy, a lease registered or registerable under the Registration of Leases (Scotland) Act 185710or the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 197911or a tenant-at-will as defined in section 20(8) of that Act of 1979;

“partner” means:–

(a) where a claimant is a member of a married or unmarried couple, the other member of that couple; or

(b) where a claimant is polygamously married to two or more members of his household, any such member;

“payment” includes part of a payment;

“person affected” means any person (including the appropriate authority) whose rights, duties or obligations are affected by a determination, whether or not on review, or by a decision on further review;

“person on income support” means a person in receipt of income support;

“policy of life insurance” means any instrument by which the payment of money is assured on death (except death by accident only) or the happening of any contingency dependent on human life, or any instrument evidencing a contract which is subject to payment of premiums for a term dependent on human life;

“polygamous marriage” means any marriage where there is more than one spouse and the ceremony of marriage as between the spouses took place under the law of a country which permits polygamy;

“rateable unit” means:–

(a) in relation to England and Wales a hereditament as defined in section 115(1) of the General Rate Act 196712;

(b) in relation to Scotland, lands and heritages entered on the valuation roll;

“rates” has the same meaning as in section 84(1) of the Act except that in relation to Scotland it does not include domestic water rate within the meaning of section 39 of the Water (Scotland) Act 198013;

“relative” means a close relative, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece;

“remunerative work” has the meaning prescribed in regulation 4;

“rent” includes all those payments in respect of a dwelling specified in regulation 10(1);

“self-employed earner” is to be construed in accordance with section 2(1)(b) of the Social Security Act;

“shared ownership tenancy” means:–

(a) in relation to England and Wales, a tenancy granted on payment of a premium calculated by reference to a percentage of the value of the dwelling or the cost of providing it;

(b) in relation to Scotland, an agreement by virtue of which the tenant of a dwelling of which he and the landlord are joint owners is the tenant in respect of the landlord’s interest in the dwelling or by virtue of which the tenant has the right to purchase the dwelling or the whole or part of the...

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