Previously in residential care / occupying a home…

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    Do you ever get that feeling where you thought you once read something, but then start to think you imagined it?

    Claimant is residential care / hospital for past two years. Housing Benefit obviously stopped in the meantime as his absence exceeded 52 weeks.

    Hospital then design a hospital release plan for the claimant, which basically involves him returning home from gradually increasing periods of time, with and without supervision over a period of about eight weeks, in order to ‘acclimatise’ him to life outside of the hospital, with the view to an eventual complete discharge.

    So, for example, he might initially one go home for a few hours, then he might stay overnight, then stay a few days etc.

    I was certain the DWP issued some guidance on this situation and when it could be determined that the claimant was now (re)occupying the property as their home, but I can’t seem to find it. Perhaps I am just imagining it. I seem to think it was treated in a slightly different manner to any other return home after a period of temporary absence.

    Any idea on when benefit should be reinstated? Is it simply when we are satisfied claimant made a genuine return to his home (ie, perhaps the first time he spent the night at the property?).





    A check of the (oft maligned) Zebedee and Ward reveals that the situation is as per your first post.

    “The DWP suggests (GM Para A3.170) that a stay at home lasting, for example, only a few hours, may not break the absence but one that lasts at least 24 hours may do so”

    See Z & W (05/06) page 49 para 3.35



    Perhaps the guidance was more to do with the reduction in a claimant’s applicable amount following a stay in hospital, which could be why I can no longer find it.

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