HOUSING BENEFIT: While you are in prison you will be unable to claim for Housing Benefit if:
- The time you will spend on remand is likely to be more than one year (52 weeks).
- The time you will spend in prison is likely to be more than 13 weeks (including any time spent on remand).
- You are not intending to return to your home after you get released.
- You are already claiming Housing Benefit as a couple but you have since separated.
- The property will get rented out.
Housing Benefit while on Remand
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.
If Your Child is On Remand
Housing Benefit payments can continue for up to 52 weeks if your child is on remand for up to one year (or less).
Housing Benefit while in Prison
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).
If Your Child is 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.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
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.