Housing Benefit can still be paid in respect of your home during a period of temporary absence if:
- you intend to return to occupy the dwelling as your home
- the part of the dwelling you normally occupy is not let or sublet
- the period of absence is unlikely to exceed 52 weeks if you are a prisoner on remand
- an inpatient in hospital or similar institution
- receiving medical treatment or medically approved convalescence for yourself, your partner or a dependent child in the UK or abroad, but not in residential accommodation
- undertaking an approved training course in the UK or abroad.
- providing medically approved care in the UK or abroad
- providing care for a child whose parent or guardian is receiving medical treatment or medically approved care
- receiving medically approved care in the UK or abroad but not in residential accommodation
- a vulnerable student
- in fear of violence
- receiving care in residential accommodation other than on a trial basis.
In all other circumstances (other than travelling abroad) the period of absence must not exceed 13 weeks. Please note, if you leave your main home to travel abroad, Housing Benefit will only remain payable up to a maximum temporary absence period of 4 weeks.
The first and third conditions (above) must be satisfied throughout the period of absence.
The second condition disqualifies any entitlement to benefit during the period the property is let or sublet.
To avoid loss of benefit you must advise the local authority of your situation before the absence occurs.