Supplementary Benefits Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 71


Supplementary BenefitsAct 1976

1976 CHAPTER 71

An Act to consolidate the Supplementary Benefit Acts 1966 to 1975 and related enactments.

[15th November 1976]

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 Supplementary Benefits

Part I

Supplementary Benefits

Right to and amount of supplementary benefits

Right to and amount of supplementary benefits

S-1 Right to supplementary benefits.

1 Right to supplementary benefits.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person in Great Britain of or over the age of 16 whose resources are insufficient to meet his requirements shall be entitled to benefit as follows—

(a ) a supplementary pension if he has attained pensionable age, that is to say, in the case of a man, the age of 65 and, in the case of a woman, the age of 60; or

(b ) a supplementary allowance if he has not attained pensionable age;

and to such benefit by way of a single payment to meet an exceptional need as may be determined under section 3 of this Act.

(2) Where, under the provisions of this Act, the requirements and resources of any person fall to be aggregated with, and treated as, those of another person, that other person only shall be entitled to supplementary benefit.

(3) The requirements of any person to be taken into account for the purposes of this Act do not include any medical, surgical, optical, aural or dental requirements.

S-2 Determination of right to and amount of supplementary benefits.

2 Determination of right to and amount of supplementary benefits.

(1) Subject to section 15 of this Act (appeals), the question whether any person is entitled to supplementary benefit, and the amount of any such benefit, shall be determined by the Supplementary Benefits Commission.

(2) Entitlement to, and the amount of, any supplementary benefit shall be determined in accordance with:—

(a ) the provisions of this Part of this Act and Schedule 1 to this Act; and

(b ) any regulations made by the Secretary of State, with the consent of the Treasury, under this subsection.

(3) Regulations so made may vary the provisions of Part II of Schedule 1 to this Act (calculation of requirements) but shall not reduce any amount specified in those provisions.

S-3 Supplementary benefit to meet exceptional needs.

3 Supplementary benefit to meet exceptional needs.

(1) Where it appears to the Commission reasonable in all the circumstances they may determine that supplementary benefit shall be paid to a person by way of a single payment to meet an exceptional need.

(2) In determining whether supplementary benefit shall be paid under this section, and the amount of any such benefit, the Commission may have regard to any resources which would otherwise fall to be disregarded under Part III of Schedule 1 to this Act (calculation of resources).

S-4 Overriding discretion in cases of urgent need.

4 Overriding discretion in cases of urgent need.

(1) Nothing in sections 6 to 8 of this Act (persons in full-time employment, persons completing secondary education and persons affected by trade disputes), nor any determination under section 10(3) or (4) of this Act (attendance for instruction or training, or maintenance in a centre), shall prevent the payment of supplementary benefit in an urgent case.

(2) In determining whether any supplementary benefit is payable by virtue of this section, and the amount or nature of any such benefit, the Commission shall not be bound by anything in Schedule 1 to this Act, or in any regulations made under this Act, which appears to them inappropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(3) Where, by virtue only of this section, any sums are paid to a person engaged in remunerative full-time work, the Commission may determine that the whole or part or those sums shall be recoverable from him by the Secretary of State, if they are satisfied that the circumstances are such that the recovery would be equitable.

S-5 Power to require regulations for employment.

5 Power to require regulations for employment.

5. The Commission may determine that the right of any person to a supplementary allowance shall be subject to the condition that he is registered for employment in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State under this section.

S-6 Exclusion from supplementary benefit of persons in full-time employment.

6 Exclusion from supplementary benefit of persons in full-time employment.

(1) Except as provided in the following provisions of this section and in section 9(1) of this Act (supplementary benefit paid after a return to full-time employment following a trade dispute), for any period during which a person is engaged in remunerative full-time work he shall not be entitled to supplementary benefit.

(2) The Secretary of State may, by regulations made under this subsection, make provision for postponing the exclusion of persons becoming engaged in remunerative full-time work from a right to supplementary benefit under subsection (1) above for such period from the beginning of their engagement as may be specified in the regulations.

(3) There is no exclusion from a right to supplementary benefit under subsection (1) above where the earning power of a self-employed person is, by reason of a disability, substantially reduced in comparison with that of other persons similarly occupied.

In this subsection ‘self-employed person’ means a person engaged in any work otherwise than under a contract of service.

S-7 Exclusion from supplementary benefit of persons completing secondary education.

7 Exclusion from supplementary benefit of persons completing secondary education.

(1) A person attending a school, or receiving full-time instruction of a kind given in schools, shall not be entitled to supplementary benefit; but, where it appears to the Commission that there are exceptional circumstances justifying it, they may award supplementary benefit to a person who would be entitled to it but for this section.

(2) The Secretary of State may, by regulations made under this section, specify the circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be treated for the purposes of this section as attending a school or receiving full-time instruction of a kind given in schools.

(3) This section does not prejudice the amount...

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