Benefits - Temporary Absence from Home

Normally, we only pay Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for the property for which you are actually living in. However, in certain circumstances, we can pay benefit while you are away from home - up to 13 weeks for most types of absence and up to 52 weeks for certain reasons.

For both groups, the basic qualifying conditions must be met.

  • You must intend to return to live in the property after the absence ends
  • You (or your landlord) must not sublet your accommodation whilst you are away
  • Your absence must not be likely to exceed 13 or 52 weeks at the start of the absence
  • Couples are not affected if only one partner is absent, and the other remains at home as the claimant.

13-week rule: People are allowed to continue claiming for up to 13 weeks if they are away from home, for example they are: on holiday and their circumstances do not change; in residential accommodation on a trial basis; convicted and sentenced for a crime.

52-week rule: Certain groups of people are allowed to continue claiming for up to 52 weeks during a period of absence. These include people in hospital; on remand awaiting trial; people receiving medically approved care for themselves, partner or dependant child; people undertaking approved training courses; people in fear of violence.

If you are unsure of how your absence will affect your benefit, please check with us.

If it is clear that you will be away from your property for a length of time, please advise us before you leave. We need to know the following:

  • How long you are away for
  • The reason you are away

If any of the following change during your absence you need to tell us:

  • You decide not to return to the property
  • Your reason for absence changes
  • Your absence is likely to be for longer than expected

Contact Us

Customer Contact Team

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