Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Rent Issues: Temporary Absences - Care Home

A claimant who is away from home in GB while receiving "medically approved" care eg in hospital, or respite or convalesce , can continue to receive HB for up to 52 weeks on their normal home as long as they:

  • Intend to return to their normal home within 52 weeks , and
  • Have not sublet it, and 
  • Have a 'live' HB claim.

Standard Letter CC9. HB Regulation 7 para 16.

For these rules to apply the stay must be for respite care, and not a trial period (see below) or a permanent stay.

So a claimant who goes into a residential or nursing home for respite care in GB can continue to get HB as long as their overall absence is unlikely to exceed 52 weeks. Any time spent in hospital before being transferred to the residential care / nursing home will count towards the 52 week absence ie it is the total absence from the first day they left their property that counts.

Trial period

A claimant who enters residential or nursing care in GB on a trial basis can receive HB for up to 13 weeks for an overall maximum period of 52 weeks* as long as they intend to return home if the care home does not suit their needs and they do not sublet their property.

As soon as they decide to stay, and hand in their notice, HB ceases under these rules, but they may be able to claim HB for their notice period - however this is subject to an overall limit of 13 weeks. Standard Letter CC4.

*This means that where the claimant enters the residential care home on a trial basis straight from hospital, even if they have already been away from home for more than 13 weeks, their entitlement to HB can continue for up to 13 weeks whilst trying out the care/nursing home as long as their overall absence is going to be less than 52 weeks (ie including the time spent in hospital). And this may mean that where they move from trying out one care home straight into another the HB can continue - for a maximum of 13 weeks per care home up to an overall maximum limit of 52 weeks. HB Regulation 7 para 11 & 12.

Stay becomes permanent / permanent move to care

If someone has to go into residential care on a permanent basis and they remain liable for the rent on their normal home they can claim HB to cover the notice period. Standard Letter CC4.

Please note, that if they were trying out a care home this is subject to an overall limit of HB for 13 weeks ie they can only get HB for their notice period if they have been away trying out the home for less that 13 weeks.

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