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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.

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.

Use the link below to fill in a form and 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).

Let us know if you are going to be away from your home for more than four weeks - opens new windowExternal Link - opens in a new window

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.

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

Reason for absenceInside Great BritainOutside 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 patient52 weeks26 weeks
A person, their partner or dependent child undergoing medical treatment, medically approved convalescence in accommodation other than residential accommodation52 weeks26 weeks
A training course52 weeks4 weeks
A person who is absent and undertaking medically approved care of a person residing in GB or elsewhere52 weeks4 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 treatment52 weeks4 weeks
An eligible student52 weeks4 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 needs52 weeks4 weeks
A person who has left their home through fear of violence52 weeks26 weeks
A person who enters residential accommodation on a trial basis to ascertain if it meets their need with the intention of returning home52 weeks4 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 responsible13 weeks4 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 overseas13 weeks26 weeks
A Mariner13 weeks26 weeks
Continental shelf worker13 weeks26 weeks
Any other temporary absence, for example a holiday13 weeks4 weeks

The Benefits Service

Daneshill House





01438 242440