New household member and NINO

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    On a couple of recent threads there has been mention of partners from overseas and the NINO problems they can sometimes encounter, and how that affects the claimant’s compliance with s1(1A) and (1B) of the Administration Act. Those threads touch on a side issue that interests me.

    You have a claimant receiving HB/CTB as a single person. Their partner, who may or may not be a UK national, doesn’t matter really, joins the household. At what point is the partner required to provide/apply for a NINO?

    – immediately
    – next intervention
    – next time the claimant gets in touch for some other reason
    – never
    – only if there is a break in entitlement and the claimant has to make a fresh claim

    I think the last answer is correct, because s1 generally, and subsection (1A) in particular, are only engaged when a person makes a claim. Para (b) of subsection (1B) doesn’t refer expressly to a claim (requirement to apply for a NINO if you don’t already have one) but the way I read it subsection (1B) only applies at all because subs (1A) says so, and that in turn only applies to someone making a claim. Entitlement to benefit is dependent on a claim being made in accordance with s1. Once the claim has been decided, I don’t see how any part of s1 applies any more.

    The Council could legitimately ask for proof of ID, but I think the crucial point is that where the partner has no NINO, which is probably most likely to affect a partner from overseas, they do not have to apply for one just for the Council’s benefit and they do not have to risk the DWP being awkward and they do not have to feel that their immigration status is under scrutiny …. unless there is a new claim.

    If Scott Wilson’s Thai wife had joined the household after April 2004, his court case would probably never have arisen because Lincoln would have made a superseding decision on the existing claim.

    Do others agree?

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