A NEW ruling from the Government means householders will be unable to claim Housing Benefit after they’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 people will no longer be entitled to claim Housing Benefit.
This is a change from the previous 13 weeks the Government allowed during what are known as ‘temporary absences’.
A spokesperson for Redditch borough council said If people are going away for more than four weeks to tell them beforehand to avoid claiming benefits to which they 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.
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.”
People can notify the borough council online at www.redditchbc.gov.uk/benefits, over the phone on 01527 534050, or in person at any of Redditch Borough Council’s customer service centres.
The move is part of Government changes to the ‘temporary absences from Great Britain’ rules for Housing Benefit. This also applies to Pension Credit, although this is not administered by the borough council. For more information on the change visit www.gov.uk .