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Absence from Home

If you get Housing Benefit and you or anyone in your home will be away for more than four weeks you need to let us know.

Please complete our Absence from Home form [98kb] to let us know you're going to be away but intend to return to the property. You must also tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

By telling us about your circumstances before you go, we may be able to pay your benefit while you're away.

The length of time you can continue to claim benefit whilst you're away from home  depends on the reason why you're away. In certain cases, you may be able to continue receiving housing benefit for up to 26 or 52 weeks. Please contact us to find out if we can pay your benefit while you're away.

You may need an appointee - someone to handle your benefit affairs while you're away. We can advice you how to do this.

Reasons for Absence

The table below shows the the different reasons you can be absent for and the length of time you can still receive Housing Benefit for.

Please note that, unlike the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not within Great Britain.

Circumstances of absence

 

Within Great Britain

Outside Great Britain - including Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

A person detained on remand pending trial or sentence upon conviction or as a condition of bail to reside in a dwelling other than their home

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person in a hospital or similar institution as a patient

52 weeks

26 weeks

A person, their partner or dependent child undergoing medical treatment, medically approved convalescence in accommodation other than residential accommodation

52 weeks

26 weeks

A training course

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is absent and undertaking medically approved care of a person residing in GB or elsewhere

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is caring for child whose parent or guardian is temporarily absent from the home of that parent or guardian and receiving medically approved care or medical treatment

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is receiving medically approved care provided in accommodation other than residential accommodation

52 weeks

26 weeks

An eligible student

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is receiving care in residential accommodation and is not staying on a trial basis to ascertain if the accommodation suits his needs

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who has left their home through fear of violence

52 weeks

26 weeks

A person who enters residential accommodation on a trial basis to ascertain if it meets their needs with the intention of returning home

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is absent from GB in connection with the death of their partner or a child for whom he or his partner is responsible, the persons close relative, a close relative of the persons partner or a close relative of a child or young person for whom the person or persons partner is responsible

13 weeks

4 weeks plus additional 4 weeks if the Decision Maker considers it unreasonable for the claimant to return home within the first 4 weeks

A member of Her Majesty's forces posted overseas

13 weeks

26 weeks

A mariner

13 weeks

26 weeks

Continental Shelf Worker

13 weeks

26 weeks

Any other temporary absence, eg. Holiday

13 weeks

4 weeks

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