Long term Hospital Exemption

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  • #20746

    hello Folks,

    Can I just ask how other authorities administer the Long Term Hospital exemption.

    The wording of the regs suggest we can award the exemption when the person stops having their sole or main residence at their home, and their sole or main residence becomes the hospital.

    How do other authorities judge when that point has been reached?

    Do any of you use a certain length of time? or does anybody only award when it is clear the patient will not be returning home etc?

    Just looking for some general views.


    Julian Hobson

    Might not be very helpful but this is all about sole or main residence.

    Simply put – the property must be unoccupied AND the hospital must have been his/her sole or main residence throughout the period for which the exemption applies.

    I don’t think anyone can say “in these circumstances …… it is X number of weeks before someones sole or main can change.

    As soon as it becomes clear that the sole or main has changed then the exemption applies as long as it is unoccupied.

    The test is one of fact and degree. Here the fact is that they occupy or potentially occupy 2 dwellings (the home and the hospital), the degree is the extent to which they occupy either, in most cases they occupy the hospital more than they occupy home and hence the exemption applies and can apply from day one.

    Reminding myself on what it says in the caselaw suggests that there really is no right and wrong decision in such circumstances and the exemption might apply to many more cases than is thought.


    Hello Julian,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    I understand what you are saying- but can i ask what indicators you would look for in deciding the point at which the sole or main residence has become the hospital and not the home.

    In normal circumstances when 2 dwellings are involved you would look for where they are registered to vote, where they have registered with a doctor etc, etc, etc.

    But as a stay in hospital is imposed, these indicators cannot really be used?

    We are trying to find a better way to handle these cases because in the past we used to award once the stay in hospital was 6 weeks or more (to tie in with when the old changes to applicable amounts kicked in). Now we only really award pretty much when the stay in hospital becomes permanent (ie they are unlikely to return to their home). And I don’t think either are correct.

    Do you have any tips in what can be used to indicate the point at which sole or main residence has changed?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


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