You may continue receiving Housing Benefit while in prison. In some cases, you can make a claim the first time you get sentenced or go on remand.
HOUSING BENEFIT: While you are in prison you will be unable to claim for Housing Benefit if:
A single person can claim Housing Benefit while on remand. The payments would continue for up to 52 weeks providing you are likely to return home within one year (or less).
A couple can claim joint Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks if only one person is on remand. The expected time spent on remand must not be more than one year.
Housing Benefit payments can continue for up to 52 weeks if your child is on remand for up to one year (or less).
What if you are single and get sentenced to prison? If you are likely to return home within 13 weeks (or less), you can claim Housing Benefit for up to 13 weeks. This would include any time you spend on remand.
You can claim joint Housing Benefit for up to 13 weeks if one of you has gone to prison. It must be likely that they will return home in 13 weeks or less (including any time spent on remand).
You may be able to claim the allowance if your partner goes to prison and they are the Housing Benefit claimant. But, you may need to have your name added to the tenancy agreement (if not already).
Keeping in Touch with Someone in Prison | Check out the different methods of contacting a prisoner.
Support for Families and Friends of Prisoners | Getting support and advice if you know someone in prison.
You should contact your local council if your child goes to prison. The council will confirm whether your Housing Benefit entitlement will change.
As a rule, the amount of benefit paid has an upper limit. It will depend on who is living with you and whether you rent from a private landlord.
Claiming Housing Benefit while in Prison or On Remand