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Prisoners on remand

Entitlement to most benefits ceases or is suspended while you are on remand. Most benefits are paid in arrears, so you may be owed some benefits payments. You should inform the office that pays your benefit of your change of circumstances and request the arrears be paid to you or sent to someone who is managing your money.

1. Introduction

Entitlement to most benefits ceases or is suspended while you are on remand.

Benefits owed

Most benefits are paid in arrears, so you may be owed some benefits payments. You should inform the office that pays your benefit of your change of circumstances and request the arrears be paid to you or sent to someone who is managing your money. 

2. Benefits you can't get - On remand

You are disqualified from the following benefits while you are on remand:

However you may be entitled to help with housing costs for up to 52 weeks whilst on remand.

You are also disqualified from Universal Credit while you are on remand.  You may be entitled to help with housing costs for up to 6 months whilst on remand.

After the first 28 days as a prisoner, the following benefit will stop:

3. Benefits suspended - On remand

While you are awaiting trial, payments of some benefits will be suspended pending the outcome. These include:

If you are sentenced, you are not paid benefits for the period you are in prison. If you are released without serving a sentence (including a suspended sentence), full arrears for the time spent on remand are paid.

4. Help with housing costs - On remand

While you are on remand or in a bail hostel, you can remain entitled to:

This is as long as your absence from home is unlikely to exceed 52 weeks and you intend to return home.

Contact your local council  (link opens in a new window) for information on what you need to do.

If you were getting Universal Credit to help with your housing costs before being held on remand, you can continue to get it for up to six months.


If you are a homeowner you can continue to receive Support for mortgage interest if you are claiming Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit, or were claiming Universal Support before going to prison but this will also only be paid for up to 52 weeks.

If your home is unoccupied while you are in prison, you can apply for a Council Tax exemption (link opens in a new window) as long as you are not in prison for non-payment of a fine or Council Tax.

5. Child benefits - On remand

You can still receive Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance while on remand if you continue to have responsibility for the child. If someone else is looking after the child and they get Child Benefit for the child, then you won’t be entitled to it. Child Tax Credit will cease if you are no longer responsible for the child, unless the child is living with you in prison. If your partner is looking after the child, they will need to make their own claim.