Presence and Residence Tests - What is Ordinary Residence?

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 19 June 2023

What is Ordinary Residence?

You are ordinarily resident if you have been living in the UK (or Scotland for Scottish benefits) for a settled purpose for the time being (whether for a long or short period).  

It is rare for benefits to be refused because you are not accepted as being ordinarily resident.  If you think this is the reason why your benefit has been refused, challenge the decision and get advice to help you explain your residence. 

The following benefits have an ordinary residence requirement: 

* You must continue to be ordinarily resident in the UK to continue to be entitled to tax credits, but it is no longer possible to make a new claim for Working Tax Credit or (unless you have just been granted refugee leave) Child Tax Credit. 

Guardian’s Allowance  depends on entitlement to Child Benefit, so you have to be ordinarily resident in order to get it.   


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