Consultation outcome

Housing Benefit and Pension Credit: temporary absences from Great Britain

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

We published the committee’s report on these regulations, and the government response on 7 July 2016 – The Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence) (Amendment) Regulations 2016: SSAC report and government statement.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to

Summary

This consultation seeks evidence on the impact of reducing the period that benefit is paid to claimants temporarily outside of GB.

Documents

Draft regulations: The Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence) (Amendment) Regulations 2016

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Covering letter from DWP to SSAC: draft temporary absence regulations for consideration

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Explanatory memorandum to SSAC: temporary absence draft regulations

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DWP equality analysis for Housing Benefit (Temporary Absence)(Amendment) Regulations 2015

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DWP equality analysis for the State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence from Great Britain) Regulations 2016

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DWP family test (Housing Benefit): reducing temporary absence outside GB period from 13 weeks to 4 weeks in line with Universal Credit policy

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DWP family test (Pension Credit): temporary absence from GB amendments

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Consultation description

This consultation is part of the Social Security Advisory Committee’s (SSAC’s) consideration of The Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

These regulations intend to reduce the period of allowable absence outside Great Britain (GB) from 13 weeks to 4 weeks for the majority of claimants. This means that Housing Benefit and Pension Credit would generally not be paid for more than 4 weeks in the event of a temporary absence.

As part of our statutory scrutiny of these regulations we have decided to produce a report for the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in March 2016. In the meantime the committee invites written submissions from any organisation or individual who has evidence relating to the following issues.

Purpose of this call for evidence

The committee would welcome information about people on Housing Benefit or Pension Credit who, whatever their age, leave Great Britain temporarily for extended periods and are likely to suffer hardship as a direct consequence of this change. The committee is particularly keen to hear about the impact on vulnerable claimants and where absences are determined by factors outside of a claimant’s direct control.

The temporary absence rules also apply to a claimant’s family and others who live with them in the determination of whether they occupy the home for other purposes, for example in relation to the under-occupancy charge or the local housing allowance. The committee would like to receive evidence setting out how a shorter allowable absence abroad might make a difference to the claimant or others in the household.

The committee would also be interested in hearing about potential impacts on local authorities and the voluntary sector.

Finally, the committee would welcome any robust data or other evidence which would indicate the scale and nature of the potential impact on any specific groups.