Row Of Houses

You won’t be able to claim Housing Benefit after you’ve been abroad for four weeks, under new national rules coming in this month.

From Thursday July 28, after spending four weeks out of the UK you will no longer be entitled to claim Housing Benefit.

This is a change from the previous 13 weeks the Government allowed for Housing Benefit claims during what are known as ‘temporary absences’.

If you are going away for more than four weeks simply tell the district council beforehand to avoid claiming benefits to which you are not entitled and potentially committing benefit fraud.

In certain circumstances the four weeks can be extended, but as this needs to be decided on a case by case basis it is important to discuss your situation before you go to prevent your claim being unnecessarily stopped.

Amanda Singleton, Head of Customer Access and Financial Support, said: “We want to make sure our customers know about this national change. If you’re going to be out of the country for more than four weeks, just be sure to talk to us before you go. That way you will avoid any problems with Housing Benefit payments further down the line.”

This is part of Government changes to the ‘temporary absences from Great Britain’ rules for Housing Benefit. Please note that it also applies to Pension Credit, although Pension Credit is not administered by the district council. For more information on the change see www.gov.uk.

Here are our benefits services.