Shropshire Council

Being away from home

In order to carry on being paid benefit while you're away, you must:

  • Intend to return home
  • Still be liable to pay rent and council tax for the whole period you're away
  • Not let or sub-let your home while you're away

Please note - if you're away from home, you must tell us straight away as soon as you know you won't be returning.

Being away for up to 13 weeks

If you satisfy the above points, we can continue to pay your benefit for a maximum of 13 weeks.

For example, someone who wishes to have a trial period at a care home can continue to have their benefit paid for a maximum of 13 weeks. As soon as it's clear that this person will not be returning home, their benefit will stop.

Being away for up to 52 weeks

There are some people who can still get benefit when they're away from home for up to 52 weeks, as follows:

  • People in prison on remand (ie who have not yet been sentenced)
  • People living away from home because they've been placed in a probation hostel, bail hostel or who are bailed to live away from their normal home
  • People in a care home or independent hospital (as long as they're not there on a trial basis - if that's the case, we can only pay for a maximum of 13 weeks, as explained above)
  • People in hospital or who are receiving medically approved care
  • People receiving medical treatment or medically approved convalescence
  • People caring for a child whose parent or guardian is away from home to receive medical treatment or medically approved care
  • People who have had to go elsewhere to attend a government training course
  • Students eligible for housing benefit and council tax support who have to study abroad for part of their course
  • People away from home from fear of violence (regardless of who this threat is from) or fear of violence from a former member of their family (whether this would occur in the home or elsewhere)

What if I didn’t know in advance that I was going to be away from home?

Obviously you won't always know in advance if you're going to be away from home - for example, if you go into hospital or have an accident. If this happens, please tell us as soon as you can or ask a friend, relative or hospital social worker to let us know.

You'll need to tell us:

  • The date you went into hospital
  • The date you expect to come out of hospital
  • Any changes in your income