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Presence and Residence Tests - Living here for three months

To get most benefits you have to be present in the UK and pass tests regarding your residency. This guide explains more about this.

Living here for three months

To get the benefits listed below you must have been living in the UK or the Common Travel Area (for Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance) for the past three months.

The term ‘living in’ does not have the same meaning as ‘presence’.  You could, in some cases, be counted as ‘living in’ the UK/ Common Travel Area, even if you have had temporary absences in the UK.  The Benefit authorities will look at factors such as the length of absence; your connections and ties to the UK/Common Travel Area as to whether you meet the test.

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

In order to get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • You must have been living in the Common Travel Area (the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the past three months in order to pass the Habitual Residence Test for Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, unless;
    • You are exempt from the habitual residence test, or
    •  At any time during the last three months you have worked abroad and paid Class 1 or 2 national insurance (NI) contributions, or
    • Your claim began before 1 January 2014

Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit

In order to get Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit

You must have been living in the UK for the past three months, unless;

  • You are an EEA national who has a ‘worker’ or ‘self-employed’ status  in the UK or you have retained that status
  • You are a non-EEA National who would be classed as a ‘worker’ or ‘self-employed person’ if you were an EEA national.
  • You are a family member of someone in the above two groups.  However, extended family members don’t qualify for this exemption.
  • You are a refugee or have humanitarian protection
  • You have been granted Destitution Domestic Violence Concessionary Leave.
  • You are returning to the UK after a period working abroad and prior to the last three months you were paying Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions
  • You are returning to the UK after either working abroad while paying UK national insurance contributions, or were ordinarily resident in the UK for three months before you went abroad.

Guardian’s Allowance depends on entitlement to Child Benefit, which means that you have to have lived here for three months to get it. See our guide on Guardian’s Allowance for other conditions you need to satisfy in order to get Guardian’s Allowance.

 

January 2019

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