Backdating of Housing Benefit claims
If you are of working age and you apply late for Housing Benefit after the 1st April 2016, you shuld be aware that the claim may be backdated for a maximum of one month. For people of pension age the claim may be backdated for up to three months.
Temporary absence outside the UK
The Department of Work and Pensions has issued proposed changes to the Housing Benefit Regulations. These changes will reduce the time period that someone can be treated as occupying their home and therefore, able to claim Housing Benefit whilst abroad. This proposal was first announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement in 2015 and should have taken effect from 1st April 2016; however this has been delayed until further notice.
The proposed rules are very similar to how the rules work under Universal Credit i.e. on who can have the Housing Costs Element included in their Universal Credit award whilst temporarily ‘abroad’.
The changes affect both the working age and Pension Credit age Housing Benefit Regulations.
The general time limit will be four weeks i.e. Housing Benefit will only be payable whilst someone is abroad if they intend to return within four weeks.
If you are going abroad, claiming Housing Benefit and may be away for four weeks or more, it is advisable to check that how long you can be away for, before your Housing Benefit stops.