Temporary absence from home
Housing Benefit (HB) is only normally payable whilst you are living at the property. However benefit may still be paid while you are away from home in certain circumstances.
The length of time for which you can continue to claim HB during an absence depends on the reason why you are away.
- If you are absent most people are only able to claim HB for the first 13 weeks of absence
- In certain circumstances you may be able to claim HB whilst you are absent from your home for up to 26 or 52 weeks. Please ask us for more information.
From 28 July 2016 if your absence is outside of ‘Great Britain’ you can normally claim HB for a maximum of 4 weeks. Note - Great Britain does not include Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
In all cases the basic qualifying conditions below must always be met:
- you must intend to return to live in the property after the absence ends
- you (or your landlord - if applicable) must not sublet your accommodation whilst you are away
- your absence must not be likely to exceed 4, 13, 26 or 52 weeks as appropriate at the start of the absence
If you know that you are likely to be away from your home for much longer than the Housing Benefit Scheme allows Housing Benefit can not normally be granted.
If you wish to claim Housing Benefit under the temporary absence rules you must confirm in writing the reason for your absence, your address during the period of absence and the period you will be absent from your home.
Temporary absence may also be considered under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
If you want to know more about the temporary absence rules you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone the Customer Care Team on 01495 766430 or 01495 766570 or alternatively you can call in at one of our Customer Care Centres.
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
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