Temporary 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 download and fill in our Absence from Home notification form 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 advise you how to do this.
Reasons for absence
The table below shows 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.
|Reason for absence||Inside Great Britain||Outside Great Britain|
|A person detained or 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|
|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 their 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 need 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 child for whom they or their 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, for example a holiday||13 weeks||4 weeks|
The Benefits Service