Receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support while away from home

Temporary absence from home

When you are receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you are required to be living in the property for which you are claiming benefit. There are certain exceptions to this rule which mean that some people can continue to claim Housing Benefit during periods of absence.

Reporting an absence

If you will be away from your property for a length of time, you will need to let us know before you leave.

 You will need to inform us of  the following:

  • the date you are leaving and the date you expect to return.   
  • the reason for your absence.
  • a statement confirming that you will return to live in your property and that you will not let or sub-let it during your absence.
  • Please write your claim reference number (a seven digit number) on documents you send in. If you do this, we should be able to make a decision on your claim quicker.

Depending on the length of your absence, you may also be asked to complete a new application form.

During your absence

If any of the following change during your absence you need to tell us straight away:

  • if you decide not to return to the property
  • if your reason for absence changes
  • if your absence is likely to be for longer than expected.

Temporary Absence guide

For more information on the temporary absence rules and time limits that apply in different situations, please download the Temporary Absence Guide.

Report online

You can report a temporary absence online via your MyHarrow Account.