Benefit Changes - Temporary Absences
Temporary Absence from home changes for Housing Benefit
There are changes to the benefit regulations effective from 28.07.16 which relate to working and pension age customers.
When someone is absent from Great Britain for more than 4 weeks then they will not be entitled to Housing Benefit for the period of the absence.
Up to 28.07.16 they could be absent outside GB for up to 13 weeks. This may affect tenants who, for example, go abroad over the winter period for several weeks before returning to their home.
The rules for absences within GB have not changed.
Where someone’s absence period still entitles them to HB they must still satisfy the temporary absence rules of:
- The claimant intends to return to the
- The property has not been sublet or let to someone else
- The period of absence will not exceed the allowed absence period
- They are still liable for rent/council tax on their normal home
There are exceptions to these rules which are detailed below, however we would always recommend you contact us to ensure your circumstances fit the exceptions
If you need more information or are going abroad please contact us on 01536 410333, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our customer service centre.
Exceptions to the general rule:
Absences in connection with the death of a close relative
Persons absent from GB in connection with the death of:
- Their partner
- A child they or their partner are responsible for
- The person’s close relative
- A close relative of the person’s partner
- Close relative of a child or young person for whom the person or person’s partner is responsible
may have the allowable 4 week period of absence extended to up to 8 weeks total if we consider that it is unreasonable for the claimant to return home within the first 4 weeks.
Members of Her Majesty’s forces, mariners and continental shelf workers
The regulations add new exceptions to the general rule in addition to existing general exceptions, for absences outside GB, for members of Her Majesty’s forces posted overseas, mariners and continental shelf workers who occupied/treated as occupying the main dwelling as a home before the period of absence from GB. They can all continue to receive HB for absences outside GB for up to 26 weeks.