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Prisoners serving a sentence - Help with housing costs - Serving a sentence

This guide provides information about entitlement to specific benefits if you are serving a prison sentence.

Help with housing costs - Serving a sentence

Most benefits stop while you are serving a prison sentence. However, you may still be entitled to help with housing costs for a limited amount of time.

You may receive the housing costs element of Universal Credit for up to 6 months when you are in prison. You will only be paid after you have been sentenced if the total amount of time spent in prison (including time on remand) will not be more than 6 months. 

You may be entitled to the following benefits for up to 13 weeks if you're not likely to be away from your home for longer than 13 weeks and you plan to return home after your sentence:

If you want to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support while you are in prison, you will need to tell the local authority about your change of circumstances.

In Scotland, you will need to tell the local council directly about your change of circumstances.

In Northern Ireland, tell your local Housing Executive.

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