Under the new rules you can be absent for up to 4, 8, 13 or 52 weeks depending on your circumstances and as long as you continue to meet the rules for absences from your main home.

To continue to claim Housing Benefit whilst you are away from home, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must intend to return to live in the property after the absence ends. You cannot ask us to pay whilst you are away if you have no intention of returning to the property.
  • You (or your landlord - if applicable) must not let or sublet your accommodation whilst you are away. For example, your landlord cannot rent your room out to other people whilst you are away.
  • Your absence must not be likely to exceed 4, 8, 13 or 52 weeks at the start of the absence. For example, you cannot intend to go and stay with relatives for 16 weeks and ask us to pay for the first 4 weeks.
  • You must still be liable for rent on your normal home.
  • You must provide the information and evidence needed for the claim to continue.

 Please view a list of some examples of allowable periods of temporary absence from home.

Information we need from you

If it is clear that you will be away from your property for any length of time, please complete the temporary absence form and send it to us before you leave.

Change of circumstances 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.

Absence from your home due to essential repairs

If you are moved to temporary accommodation while essential repairs are being carried out on your home and you are still charged rent for this property, you will be treated as still occupying the property that is undergoing repairs and Housing Benefit will continue to be paid.

If you are charged rent for your normal home and the temporary accommodation, you will only receive Housing Benefit for the property you normally occupy as your home.