dcsimg

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support while away from home

Exceptional circumstances

Bereavement

You can be away for up to 8 weeks if it is due to the death of a partner, child or young person for whom you or your partner are responsible, you or your partner’s close relative, or a close relative of a child or young person for whom you or your partner are responsible.

Working away from home

If you are absent from Great Britain as a member of the armed forces posted overseas, a mariner or an oil or gas worker on the continental shelf the time limit is 26 weeks.
During your absence the 3 qualifying conditions must be fulfilled:

  1. You intend to return to the property
  2. The dwelling has not been let/sublet
  3. The period of absence is unlikely to exceed the time limit

All 3 conditions must be satisfied. There is no discretion, so if it is clear at the outset that absence is likely to exceed the time limit then benefit is not payable.

In the following circumstances the time limits are 52 weeks if remaining in Great Britain, and 26 weeks if outside Great Britain:

  • Resident in a hospital or similar institution as a patient
  • Claimant, partner or dependant child undergoing medical treatment or medically approved convalescence, in accommodation other than residential accommodation
  • A person receiving medically approved care provided in accommodation other than residential accommodation
  • A person who has left the dwelling they occupy as their home through fear of violence, in the dwelling, or by a person who was formerly a member of the family of the person, and to whom payment on two homes does not apply

In the following circumstances the time limits are 52 weeks if remaining in Great Britain, and 4 weeks if outside Great Britain:

  • Undertaking medically approved care of a person
  • Undertaking the care of a child whose parent or guardian is temporarily absent from the dwelling normally occupied by that parent or guardian for the purpose of receiving medically approved care or medical treatment
  • A person who is receiving care provided in residential accommodation (other than trial periods)
  • A Student, single or lone parent student liable to make payments in respect of either (but not both) their term time or the dwelling they occupy when not attending their course will be treated as occupying as their home the dwelling in respect of which they are liable to make payments or payment on two homes for a couple where one partner is a student and it is unavoidable that the partners should occupy two separate dwellings)