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Council Tax Reduction - temporary absence from home

This advice applies to Scotland

You may be able to continue to receive a Council Tax Reduction (CTR) during a temporary absence from home. You need to tell the local authority about the change in your circumstances.

If you are away from Great Britain

There are special rules about being absent from Great Britain but still being eligible for a CTR.

Up to 13 weeks away

If you are temporarily away from home, you can continue to be entitled to a CTR for up to 13 weeks if you:

  • intend to return home, and
  • are not letting, or sub-letting, the part of the home in which you usually live while you are away, and
  • are unlikely to be away for more than 13 weeks.

You can be away from home for up to 13 weeks, then return home (for a period, which may be brief), then be away for a further period up to 13 weeks, without affecting your CTR entitlement. Each return home essentially resets the clock.  

Up to 52 weeks

You could be entitled to a CTR for up to 52 weeks, if your absence is unlikely to be longer than 52 weeks (or, in exceptional circumstances, for not substantially longer).

You must be intending to return home and must not be letting, or subletting, the part of the home in which you usually live while you are away. You must also be in at least one of the following categories:

  • a remand prisoner awaiting trial or sentence
  • required as a condition of bail to live in a bail hostel, or away from home
  • patient in a hospital or similar institution
  • undergoing (or your partner or dependent child is undergoing) medical treatment or convalescence, other than in residential accommodation
  • on an approved training course
  • providing medically approved care for someone
  • caring for a child whose parent or guardian is away receiving medical treatment
  • receiving medical care, other than in residential accommodation. There are special rules if you leave Great Britain temporarily
  • in a residential care home, other than on a trial basis
  • a student
  • you have left home because of fear of violence in the home, or from a former member of your family.

Away staying in a care home

If you are in a residential care home, you are entitled to receive a CTR on your own home for up to 13 weeks, provided you are not absent for more than 52 weeks and:

  • your are in the residential care home for a trial period to see if it suits your needs, and
  • you intend to return to your usual home should the residential care home not be suitable, and
  • the part of the home in which you usually live is not let or sublet while you are away.

Other circumstances

If you are getting a CTR and are away from home but you do not satisfy any of the conditions above for continuing to get a reduction, your partner, or someone else in your home may be able to apply for a CTR.

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