Temporary absence

You can be temporarily absent from home without affecting your Housing Benefit or Council Tax support.

You must intend to return home throughout the whole of the absence period. You cannot sub-let your home during this period.

Absence up to 13 weeks may apply if you are:

  • on holiday or away for work
  • in residential care on a trial basis because you are thinking about moving into residential care and you have a future move in date

Absence up to 52 weeks may apply if you are:

  • an unsentenced remand prisoner (including prisoners in custody, awaiting trial, prisoners in custody during their trial and convicted prisoners held on remand awaiting a sentence)
  • on an approved government training course
  • in a bail hostel, or bailed to live away from home
  • in hospital, or receiving medically approved care
  • in hospital as an in-patient or receiving or recovering from medically approved care in the UK or abroad, but not in residential care (this may also apply to your partner or child)
  • living away from home due to the fear of violence
  • in a care home or independent hospital for respite care
  • providing care for a child whose parent or guardian is receiving medical treatment or medically approved care
  • providing approved medical care
  • a student who is eligible for Housing Benefit and absent for educational reasons
  • receiving temporary care in residential accommodation, not including those there for a trial period

Essential repairs

If you have moved out of your home for essential repairs to take place, such as a ceiling collapse, the period of absence is dependent on the repairs and whether you still have to pay rent.