Tell us about a temporary absence from home

Housing benefit is only paid when you are living at the address you are claiming for. 

You can let us know about a temporary absence from home by completing our online form.

Tell us about a temporary absence from home

When to let us know

If you move away from home, let us know before you leave.

Once you have returned home, you need to let us know the date you came back.

When you might still be able to claim

There are some exceptions when you can be absent from home and still receive your entitlement:

  • if you’ll be absent from your home in a country outside of the UK, you can be away for no more than four weeks
  • if you’ll be absent from your home but remain in the UK, you can be temporarily absent for up to thirteen weeks

If you are away from home you must:

  • intend to return to your home from the outset, and
  • you or your landlord must not sublet your home whilst you are absent

Special circumstances

You may get housing benefit for absences of up to fifty-two weeks, as long as you remain in the UK, intend to return home, and the following special circumstances apply:

  • you are held on remand in prison
  • you are in a bail hostel or have been bailed to stay away from home
  • you are in hospital or receiving medical care
  • you have left your home through fear of violence

If you'll be outside of the UK 

Any absence outside of the UK cannot exceed four weeks. The Housing Benefit Department  will make an exception if you are:

  • abroad for a family funeral, you may be away for up to six weeks, or
  • in a hospital or receiving medical care, you may be absent for up to twenty-six weeks