Reply To: Absence substantially exceeding 52 weeks


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Temporary absence may be longer than 52 weeks

3.532 A person whose absence that is ‘unlikely to substantially exceed 52 weeks* also qualifies. This may be considered only in exceptional circumstances. It should not be interpreted as the normal rule for all or any particular groups of claimant.

* Unlikely to substantially exceed 52 weeks’ should be interpreted as a total absence of up to about 15 months.
3.533 Although the absence may be longer than 52 weeks, benefit may only be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks while the claimant is absent.


A3 – Liability to make payments and occupying the home

3.534 Take account of all the circumstances before deciding whether to allow benefit for an absence that is likely to last longer than 52 weeks and consider each case on its facts. For example, an absence of more than 52 weeks may be considered temporary when a claimant has been prevented from returning home by an unanticipated event, or their discharge from hospital has been delayed by a relapse.