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Presence and Residence Tests - What are the Presence and Past Presence Tests?

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

What are the Presence and Past Presence Tests?

What is the Presence Test?

You must usually be present in Great Britain at the time you make your claim for benefits or tax credits.

To be entitled to Child Benefit (or Guardian’s Allowance), you and your child(ren) must be present in Great Britain.

What is the Past Presence Test?

In addition to being present at the time you claim, for some benefits you must have been present in Great Britain for a period of time before you become entitled.The Past Presence Test applies to the following benefits:

For the above benefits you must have been present in Great Britain for at least 104 weeks in the last 156 weeks.

Exceptions to the Past Presence Test

The past presence test does not apply if:

If you are claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a baby under six months old, a shorter past presence test of 13 weeks applies.  If your child becomes entitled to DLA between the ages of six months and 36 months, then a past presence test of 26 weeks applies.


Updated July 2019

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