If you are going to be away from your home temporarily then we can continue to pay housing benefit to you whiles you are away, providing you meet certain conditions and intend to return home within a set time.
You must tell us straight away if you know you’re going to be away from home.
The length of time you can receive benefits depends on whether you’re absent outside Great Britain or not, and the reason for your absence.
Please note – Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales, but does not include Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
To ensure that we have all the information we need, please tell us:
We will then tell you if you are entitled to benefits while you are away. In certain cases, you may have to complete a new claim form to cover your absence.
If you decide not to return to your home, you must tell us immediately. We will normally stop paying benefit from the Monday after the date that you decided not to return to your home.
You can receive benefit for up to 13 weeks away from your home, provided
You can receive benefit for up to 52 weeks away from your home if you are in Great Britain, if you are:
But you must intend to return to your home within 52 weeks and not sublet your property while you are away.
If you go into residential care on a trial basis, you can receive benefit for up to 13 weeks for your present home, but you must:
You can receive benefits for up to four weeks if you are away from your home outside Great Britain. However, you must intend to return to your home within four weeks and cannot sublet your property while away.
If your absence is in connection with the death of a close relative, or the close relative of a child you’re responsible for, and we agree that it’s unreasonable for you to return within four weeks, we can extend this period by a further four weeks.
You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks away from your home if you are outside Great Britain, if: