- What happens if I am temporarily absent from my home?
- Can I qualify for benefit/reduction if I am temporarily absent from my home?
- What happens if I go into a residential care home?
Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance and/or Council Tax Reduction are only normally payable whilst you are resident at the property. However, benefit/reduction may still be paid while you are temporarily away from your home in certain circumstances.
You must tell us in writing as soon as possible if you are going to be temporarily absent from your home and wish to continue claiming. You should confirm the date you are going away and the date you expect to return home, as well as provide us with details of where you will be staying. It is important that you notify us when you return home.
The length of time for which you can continue to claim benefit/reduction during an absence depends on the reason why you are away and whether your absence is outside of `Great Britain’. Some people can continue claiming for 4,8,13,26 or 52 weeks. In all cases, you must satisfy all the following conditions:
- you must intend to return to live in the property after the absence ends
- you (or your landlord - if applicable) must not sublet your home whilst you are away
- your absence from your normal home is unlikely to exceed 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks
If you go into a residential care home on a trial basis you may be able to claim benefit/reduction for up to 13 weeks providing you satisfy all the following conditions:
- you are entering the residential care home to find out whether it suits your needs
- you intend to return to live in your normal home if the residential care home does not suit you
- you (or your landlord - if applicable) must not sublet your normal home whilst you are away
If you move into a residential care home to receive temporary care, you may be able to claim benefit/reduction for up to 52 weeks if you satisfy all the following conditions:
- you must have a clear intention of returning to your normal home
- you (or your landlord - if applicable) must not sublet your home whilst you are receiving temporary care
- your absence from your normal home is unlikely to exceed 52 weeks
If you decide to become a permanent resident in the care home you will no longer be entitled to Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance and/or Council Tax Reduction. To avoid any potential overpayment you will need to confirm in writing immediately to the Local Authority if your stay in the care home is no longer temporary.
In certain circumstances you may be entitled to claim up to four weeks benefit to cover the period of notice on your previous home.
If you want to know more about the temporary absence rules you can contact the Local Authority via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 01970 633 252 or by writing to the Local Authority at the address shown on the contact page. You can also visit one of our Local District Offices.