Social Security Act 1998

Cited as1998 c. 14
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Social Security Act 1998

1998 Chapter 14

An Act to make provision as to the making of decisions and the determination of appeals under enactments relating to social security, child support, vaccine damage payments and war pensions to make further provision with respect to social security and for connected purposes.

[21st May 1998]

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:—

I Decisions and Appeals

Part I

Decisions and Appeals

Chapter I

General

Decisions

Decisions

S-1 Transfer of functions to Secretary of State.

1 Transfer of functions to Secretary of State.

1. The following functions are hereby transferred to the Secretary of State, namely—

(a)the functions of adjudication officers appointed under section 38 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992(‘theAdministration Act’)

(b) the functions of social fund officers appointed under section 64 of that Act and

(c)the functions of child support officers appointed under section 13 of the Child Support Act 1991(‘theChild Support Act’).
S-2 Use of computers.

2 Use of computers.

(1) Any decision, determination or assessment falling to be made or certificate falling to be issued by the Secretary of State under or by virtue of a relevant enactment, or in relation to a war pension may be made or issued not only by an officer of his acting under his authority but also—

(a) by a computer for whose operation such an officer is responsible and

(b) in the case of a decision, determination or assessment that may be made or a certificate that may be issued by a person providing services to the Secretary of State, by a computer for whose operation such a person is responsible.

(2) In this section ‘relevant enactment’ means any enactment contained in—

(a) Chapter II of this Part

(b) the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (‘the Contributions and Benefits Act’)

(c) the Administration Act

(d) the Child Support Act

(e) the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994 ;

(f) the Jobseekers Act 1995 (‘the Jobseekers Act’);

(g) the Child Support Act 1995 or

(h) the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 .

(3) In this section and section 3 below ‘war pension’ has the same meaning as in section 25 of the Social Security Act 1989 (establishment and functions of war pensions committees).

S-3 Use of information.

3 Use of information.

(1) Subsection (2) below applies to information relating to social security, child support or war pensions which is held—

(a) by the Secretary of State or the Northern Ireland Department or

(b) by a person providing services to the Secretary of State or the Northern Ireland Department in connection with the provision of those services.

(2) Information to which this subsection applies—

(a) may be used for the purposes of, or for any purposes connected with, the exercise of functions in relation to social security, child support or war pensions and

(b) may be supplied to, or to a person providing services to, the Secretary of State or the Northern Ireland Department for use for those purposes.

(3) The following sections, namely—

(a) section 122C of the Administration Act (supply of information to authorities administering benefit) and

(b) section 122D of that Act (supply of information by authorities administering benefit),

shall each have effect as if the reference in subsection (1) to social security included references to child support and war pensions.

(4) In this section ‘the Northern Ireland Department’ means the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland.

Appeals

Appeals

S-4 Unified appeal tribunals.

4 Unified appeal tribunals.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act—

(a) the functions of social security appeal tribunals, disability appeal tribunals and medical appeal tribunals constituted under Part II of the Administration Act

(b) the functions of child support appeal tribunals established under section 21 of the Child Support Act and

(c) the functions of vaccine damage tribunals established by regulations made under section 4 of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 (‘the Vaccine Damage Payments Act’)

are hereby transferred to appeal tribunals constituted under the following provisions of this Chapter.

(2) Accordingly appeals under—

(a) section 12 below;

(b) section 20 of the Child Support Act, as substituted by section 42 below;

(c) section 4 of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act, as substituted by section 46 below; and

(d) section 11 of the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 ,

shall be determined by appeal tribunals so constituted (in the following provisions of this Chapter referred to as ‘appeal tribunals’).

S-5 President of appeal tribunals.

5 President of appeal tribunals.

(1) The Lord Chancellor may, after consultation with the Lord Advocate, appoint a President of appeal tribunals.

(2) A person is qualified to be appointed President if—

(a) he has a 10 year general qualification (construed in accordance with section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 ) or

(b) he is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least 10 years' standing.

(3) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for supplementing this section.

S-6 Panel for appointment to appeal tribunals.

6 Panel for appointment to appeal tribunals.

(1) The Lord Chancellor shall constitute a panel of persons to act as members of appeal tribunals.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, the panel shall be composed of such persons as the Lord Chancellor thinks fit to appoint after consultation, in the case of medical practitioners, with the Chief Medical Officer.

(3) The panel shall include persons possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed by regulations made with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor.

(4) The numbers of persons appointed to the panel, and the terms and conditions of their appointments, shall be determined by the Lord Chancellor with the consent of the Secretary of State.

(5) A person may be removed from the panel by the Lord Chancellor on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(6) In this section ‘the Chief Medical Officer’ means—

(a) in relation to England, the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health

(b) in relation to Wales, the Chief Medical Officer of the Welsh Office and

(c) in relation to Scotland, the Chief Medical Officer of the Scottish Office.

S-7 Constitution of appeal tribunals.

7 Constitution of appeal tribunals.

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