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    Good afternoon, we have a HB customer that has been given a long prison sentence so he will not be returning to his rented accommodation within the next 13 weeks. My question is – is he eligible for the additional 4 weeks HB that is referred to in Regulation 7? His tenancy has not been terminated so his rental liability will continue and he is not making a HB claim anywhere else.

    Thank you for your help and advice.


    There have been a number of debates surrounding whether four weeks notice can be paid once somone goes to prison, and a significant number agree that the four weeks notice can be paid, however I have looked again at reg 7 and I think that it is only relevant where the customer is on remand awaiting sentence.

    I no longer specialise in Benefits, but do like to keep up to date with the regs etc, and refresh my memory periodically, so I hope that someone else can confirm this situation for you. 🙂

    Chris Robbins

    David, I agree with Caroline.
    Whether your claimant has given notice or not is irrelevant. The specific provision is Reg 7(7).
    He has moved into a new dwelling for which he is not liable to make payments.
    His liability continues at the old property.
    He can be treated as occupying the old property for up to 4 weeks.

    Although that provision was intended to cover notice periods (normally 4 weeks) which could not be paid under the 2 homes provision (Reg 7(6)(d)), it does not specify in terms that a notice period is the only situation you can pay.

    In reality if a person is unexpectedly banged up (he might have thought he would be found not guilty) then you would have to find that he could not have avoided the ongoing liability on his former home. This observation is based on your statement that he will not be returning to the property. It is possible (even if unlikely) that some long tern prisoners may make arrangements for their tenancy to be preserved while inside, and if they retain an intention to return then we don’t pay.


    It depends on whether you think prison is a dwelling. Arguments both for and against in the following threads:

    4 week run on cliamant in prison

    Can HB be paid 4 weeks after clmt sentenced?

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