Benefits affected by change of address

If you change your address it may have an effect on the benefits you receive. Most social security benefits are not affected by a simple change of address.

Change of address - Attendance Allowance

If you are receiving Attendance Allowance, this may be affected following a change of address.

Attendance Allowance

If you are receiving Attendance Allowance it will be withdrawn from the payday after the 28th day you have been in a Health Service hospital or a care home or somewhere similar where a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department either fund or help to pay the fees.

If you are receiving Attendance Allowance and you re-enter a Health Service hospital, a care home or somewhere similar funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, within 28 days of leaving, such periods are linked together as one continuous spell.

The day of admission to and discharge from a Health Service hospital, a care home or somewhere similar or residential accommodation funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, are counted as days for which benefit can be paid.

If you are awarded Attendance Allowance under the special rules it may be exempt from the regulations governing exclusion where you are in a hospice whose primary function is to provide care for terminally ill people.

A care home or somewhere similar

Customer

If you are getting Attendance Allowance, it will be withdrawn from the payday after the 28th day you have been in a care home or somewhere similar where a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department either fund or help to pay for the accommodation.

If you re-enter a care home or somewhere similar funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, within 28 days of leaving, such periods are linked together as one continuous spell.

The day of admission to and discharge from a care home or somewhere similar funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, are counted as days for which benefit can be paid.

If you pay your own fees in a care home or somewhere similar, you can continue to receive Attendance Allowance even if you are still receiving Income Support.

From 19 June 2000, if you are admitted to a care home or somewhere similar, which is managed by a Health and Social Services Trust, you can be paid Attendance Allowance under the normal qualifying rules provided:

  • you and/or another person or charity on your behalf is meeting the whole cost of your accommodation
  • you are not entitled to Income Support (IS), Jobseeker's Allowance (Income-based) (JSA (IB)) or Housing Benefit
  • you are not one partner of a married or unmarried couple for whom an amount is included in the IS or JSA (IB) of your partner

If you have been awarded Attendance Allowance under the special rules your benefit will not be affected by any admission to a hospice whose primary function is to provide care for terminally ill people.

Other Information

If someone looking after you gets Carer's Allowance, they must also tell the Disability and Carers Service that you have gone into a care home or somewhere similar.

If you are admitted to a care home or somewhere similar for a short period, Carer's Allowance may continue to be paid for up to 4 weeks, provided there have been no other breaks in care during the previous 26 weeks due to admissions to a care home or somewhere similar.

If you are admitted to a care home or somewhere similar permanently at the outset, payment of Carer's Allowance will stop from the next payday.

Partner

Your Attendance Allowance will not be affected by your partner's admission to a care home or somewhere similar.

Change of address - Carer's Allowance

If you are receiving Carers Allowance, this may be affected following a change of address.

Permanent change of address

If you change your address you should contact Disability and Carers Service to let them know and to confirm that you are still providing at least 35 hours caring per week for the person you look after.

You should also tell Disability and Carers Service about any changes to your bank, building society or Post Office® card account details, for example if your sort code or account number change.

Temporary change of address

Respite care

Respite care is when the person with a disability and/or the carer are admitted to either a hospital, residential care home or nursing home, because they need to be looked after for a short period of time.

If there is a temporary change of address due to the person going into respite care the carer should let Disability and Carers Service know about the change.

If there is a temporary break in caring, Carers Allowance may be paid for up to 12 weeks depending on your circumstances and those of the disabled person you care for in any 26 week period.

Holiday

If you go on holiday, or the person you care for has a holiday, Carers Allowance may be paid for up to 4 weeks depending on your circumstances and those of the disabled person you care for in any 26 week period .

Change of address - Community Care

If you are receiving community care, this may be affected following a change of address.

Permanent change of address

Community Care is available if you are unable to live on your own without support.

You can receive community care whether you live alone or not - eligibility for services is related to your care needs.

This may include services ranging from meals-on-wheels and/or a home help, to admission into a residential/nursing home.

The local Health and Social Care Trusts are responsible for assessing your care needs are, and for making the necessary arrangements to meet those needs, for example in a residential care or nursing home.

Temporary change of address

Respite care

Respite care takes many different forms and is delivered in settings such as users’ own homes, community facilities or residential or nursing care homes.  

Services can include:

  • attendance at day care facilities which provide a range of support schemes
  • attendance at local community-based services including luncheon clubs, drop-in facilities and community organisations
  • the provision of “sitting” services in the person’s own home including day time, night time, weekend and emergency services
  • short term placement in respite beds located in nursing and residential homes or in another host carer's home

Respite may be provided to meet the user’s own needs, or to meet the needs of carers and families.  It is usually a flexible short term response offering carers independent time and offering users the opportunity to experience a change of environment and stimulus.

Change of address - Disability Living Allowance

If you are receiving Disability Living Allowance, this may be affected following a change of address.

Disability Living Allowance

If you are receiving Disability Living Allowance the care component part will be withdrawn from the payday after the 28th day you have been in a Health Service hospital (84th day for children under the age of 16) or a care home or somewhere similar where a Health and Social Services Trust, an Education and Library Board, a Health Service Trust or government department either fund or help to pay the fees.

Different rules govern the payment of Disability Living Allowance mobility component and whilst in common with the care component it will be withdrawn from Health Service hospital in-patients after a total of 28 days in-patient care (84 days for children under the age of 16), it may remain payable whilst in a care home or somewhere similar depending on the medical treatment, if any, you receive.

If you re-enter a Health Service hospital, a care home or somewhere similar funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, within 28 days of leaving, such periods are linked together as one continuous spell.

The day of admission to and discharge from a Health Service hospital, a care home or somewhere similar or residential accommodation funded by (or fees assistance provided by) a Health and Social Services Trust, an Education and Library Board, a Health and Social Care Trust, an Education and Library Board or government department, are counted as days for which benefit can be paid.

If you are awarded Disability Living Allowance under the special rules it may be exempt from the regulations governing exclusion where you are in a hospice whose primary function is to provide care for terminally ill people.

Change of address - Housing Benefit

If you get Housing Benefit, this may be affected following a change of address or hospitalisation.

Permanent change of address

If you or your partner are tenants and are responsible for the payment of rent you may be entitled to Housing Benefit.

If you change address and you are receiving Income Support  / Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance you will need to get form HB1/F1 from their local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.

If it is your first claim for Housing Benefit, or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive/Rates Collection Agency has ended the benefit period on the claim for the previous address, the completed HB1/F1 should be returned to the local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office who will forward it to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency.

You must put in your new application immediately as the date your form is received will be used to decide the date that any award of Housing Benefit would begin.

If you are not receiving Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) you will need to apply direct to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency who have their own claim forms and will issue them if requested.

If you were claiming Housing Benefit / Housing Benefit Extended Payment; for your old accommodation you must tell the Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency about the move as soon as possible.

Temporary change of address

Medical
Hospital in-patients

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People undertaking a period of medically-approved treatment or convalescence in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People absent from home for medical treatment for themselves or a dependant

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People receiving medically-approved care in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People providing medically-approved care in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not intend to return home
  • you have let or sub-let their home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to substantially exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Prisoners

Convicted prisoners serving a custodial sentence of less than 13 weeks, after deducting likely remission

If you are given a custodial sentence, payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 13 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • it is known, at the outset, that the period of absence will exceed 13 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Remand prisoners who are held in custody

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

If you are serving a sentence of over 13 weeks while you are also on remand you will not be entitled to Housing Benefit for this time.

Residential Accommodation

People who enter residential accommodation for a "trial" period while deciding whether to stay or return home

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 13 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • it is known, at the outset, that the period of absence will exceed 13 weeks subject to an overall limit of 52 weeks absence from home

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People receiving care in residential accommodation, other than those residing there on a "trial" basis

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Training/Work

People working away from home in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 13 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • it is known, from the outset, that the period of absence will exceed 13 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

People undertaking approved training courses in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 52 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • the period of absence is likely to exceed 52 weeks, or in exceptional circumstances, if the absence is unlikely to significantly exceed 52 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Voluntary Workers in the UK or abroad

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 13 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • it is known, from the outset, that the period of absence will exceed 13 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Miscellaneous

People Absent from home in the UK, due to, for example, Holidays, Domestic or Religious reasons

Payment of Housing Benefit will continue for a maximum period of 13 weeks unless:

  • you do not mean to return home
  • you have let or sub-let your home
  • it is known, from the outset, that the period of absence will exceed 13 weeks

You should always tell your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive / Rates Collection Agency office to keep them up-to-date with any relevant changes.

Change of address - Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)

The following outlines how your Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) may be affected following a change of address.

Permanent change of address

If you change address you should contact your benefit paying office. You must also let them know about any changes in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement.

The action required about housing costs (rent, mortgage etcetera) will depend on whether you rent or own your home.

Tenants

You should also report if there have been any other changes in your circumstances or those of your family for example starting or ceasing to live with someone as man and wife.

Home owners

The following situations relate to a change of address which results in a change to your home ownership status.

Previous home sold, new home not purchased

If you have sold your previous property full details of all proceeds received from this sale should be declared as this may affect your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance.

If the capital from a sale of your house is earmarked to buy a future home it may be ignored for six months, or longer in certain circumstances.

Before deciding to buy another property you should seek advice from your benefit paying office.

You will not usually have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first 13 weeks.

If you have a partner who has reached or is over the age they can claim Pension Credit you may receive help with mortgage costs from the outset of your claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

If your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you claim Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), you will not have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first eight weeks.

You will then receive 50 per cent of your eligible housing costs for 18 weeks and 100 per cent of your eligible housing costs from the 27th week of your claim.

This will also apply to you if you take out a mortgage on or after 2 October 1995 and are carers who are not required to be available for employment, in custody pending trial or sentence, have been refused payment under a mortgage payment protection policy because of a pre-existing medical condition or HIV, or lone parents who have claimed due to the death of, or being abandoned by, a partner, and where the assessment unit includes a child.

Rules from 5 January 2009

If you are making a claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) from 5 January 2009 you are entitled to help with your housing costs from week 14 of your claim.

If you are already entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) on 4 January 2009, but are not yet receiving help with your housing costs, you may entitled to full help with housing costs:

  • from 5 January 2009 - if you have already been entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based)/Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for more than 13 weeks
  • from week 14 of your claim - if you have already been entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for 13 weeks or less

In addition, if your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you are in the first 13 weeks of your claim on 4 January 2009, you will receive:

  • half your housing costs from week nine of your claim up to £100,000 under the old rules full help from week 14 up to £200,000 under the new rules

If you make a new claim to benefit that links to a previous claim that ended before 4 January 2009, you will be paid under the old rules. If you have excess capital or income you will be paid under the old rules.

The length of time you have been continuously receiving Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance will count towards the waiting period if you take on a new eligible loan.

The upper limit amount for a loan that housing costs can be calculated on increased from £100,000 to £200,000.on 5 January 2009

If you increase your eligible housing costs you will have the amount allowed within your applicable amount restricted.

This change affects any increase in housing costs during the relevant period.

The relevant period is defined as:

  • when a person is entitled to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • when a person is living as a member of a family, one of whom receives Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • between two such periods of entitlement, and any breaks that do not exceed 26 weeks, count as one relevant period

The restrictions on increases to housing costs may not apply if the change of address was necessary to:

  • buy alternative accommodation more suited for a disabled person
  • to provide separate sleeping accommodation for children of different sexes aged 10 or over but under 20

Responsible for housing costs on two homes

If you are responsible for housing costs for two (but not more than two) homes, you can receive help for both homes for as long as necessary where:

  • you had to leave your home, and stay away from it, through fear of violence
  • you are a member of a couple and you or your partner are a student or are on a training course and it is unavoidable that you live in two separate homes
  • you have moved into a new home, and you have unavoidable housing costs for both your old and new homes - you can receive help with those costs for up to four benefit weeks only

Newly purchased property

If you have sold your previous home and will be mortgaging your new property full details should be supplied about:

  • the proceeds received from the sale of your old property
  • the mortgage agreement for your new property and details of the income on which the mortgage was allowed

Before deciding to buy another property you should seek advice from your benefit paying office because of changes to the legislation covering help with housing costs for owner-occupiers.

Housing Costs

You will not usually have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first 13 weeks of your claim.

If you have a partner who has reached or is over the age they can claim Pension Credit you may receive help with mortgage costs from the outset of your claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

If your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you claim Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), you will not have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first eight weeks.

You will then receive 50 per cent of your eligible housing costs for 18 weeks and 100 per cent of your eligible housing costs from the 27th week of your claim.

This will also apply to you if you take out a mortgage on or after 2 October 1995 and are carers who are not required to be available for employment, in custody pending trial or sentence, have been refused payment under a mortgage payment protection policy because of a pre-existing medical condition or HIV, or lone parents who have claimed due to the death of, or being abandoned by, a partner, and where the assessment unit includes a child.

Temporary change of address

Respite care

Respite care is when you and/or your partner are admitted to a care home because you need to be looked after, for a short period of time, while your normal carer is unable to look after you.

If you do move into respite care you should contact your benefit paying office immediately to advise of the address of the care home and period of your intended stay.

Holiday

Absence in Great Britain

If you and/or your partner are going on holiday in Great Britain you may be entitled to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for a maximum of four weeks after leaving Northern Ireland.

Absence less than four weeks

If the absence will be for four weeks or less, then payment will continue to be made into your account, as long as your entitlement continues.

Absence more than four weeks

If the absence is for more than four weeks, or the length is uncertain, payment will continue until you leave Northern Ireland and will then stop. You should reclaim on your return to Northern Ireland. Payment for the first four weeks outside Northern Ireland will be considered.

Going abroad

Further information is available on holidays abroad and their effect on benefits.

Change of address - Social Fund

If you have Social Fund loans or grants these may be affected following a change of address.

Social Fund claims

If you have made an application or claim to the Social Fund or have unpaid loans you should write to the Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office to tell them your new address.

If you are repaying a Social Fund loan, arrangements will be made for the loan to be repaid at the new office.

The Social Fund may be able to help you with certain expenses associated with moving home by awarding grants or loans.

Community Care Grants

A Community Care Grant may be awarded to help you if you are moving home because, for example, you:

  • are leaving care in a hospital, residential care home or nursing home
  • are being discharged from prison
  • have been victims of intimidation or domestic violence
  • have recently separated

You may be able to get help with expenses for fares, removal costs and furnishings for your new home.

Budgeting Loan

A Budgeting Loan may be awarded to help you if you are moving home because, for example, you:

  • are moving into your own home for the first time
  • are moving to more suitable accommodation

You may be able to get help with expenses for fares, removal costs and furnishings for your new home.

Crisis Loan

A Crisis Loan may be available to you to move home because, for example:

  • your old home has been destroyed by fire, flood, etcetera
  • you need to move urgently because there is a risk to your health at your old home

You may be able to get help with expenses for fares, removal costs and furnishings for your new home.

Further information can be obtained from the local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.

Change of address - Other benefits

If you are receiving other benefits, these may be affected following a change of address.

Permanent change of address

In most cases, a change of address should not affect you and/or your partner's benefit(s) but you should tell your benefit paying office the new address as soon as possible along with any other changes in circumstances.

You should tell them about any changes of bank/building society details immediately if your benefit is paid direct to a bank or building society.

Further information is available on holidays abroad and their effect on benefits.

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