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.
- Last reviewed 01 April 2020
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, and continue to be so.
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 (the Common Travel Area for Child Disability Payments and Adult Disability Payments in Scotland) for a total number of weeks out of a particular period of time before you become entitled. For each of these benefits you must also be habitually resident.
You must have been present in Great Britain for 104 weeks out of the last 156 weeks for the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- Carers Allowance
- Carer's Element of Universal Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
You must have been present in the Common Travel Area for 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks for the following benefits:
You must have been present in Great Britain for 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks for the following benefits:
Exemptions to the Past Presence Test
If Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Child Disability Payment is being claimed for a baby under six months old, the baby must be present for a past period of 13 weeks.
The past presence test does not apply if you:
- are terminally ill (except for Carer’s Allowance); or
- have refugee leave or humanitarian protection (or you have leave as the dependent family member of someone who has either type of leave); or
- lived in Ukraine until the end of 2021 and left in connection with the Russian invasion in February 2022, and you have leave to be in the UK or you are British or Irish
- left Afghanistan in connection with the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021 and you have leave to be in the UK
- left Sudan in connection with the violence that escalated from April 2023 and you were living in Sudan before then and you have leave in the UK or you are British or Irish
If you are covered by one of the last 4 bullets, you also do not need to be habitually resident for any of these disability or carers benefits.