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Benefits in hospital

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Disability Rights UK Factsheet F7

What is a day in hospital?

For personal independence payment (PIP), disability living allowance (DLA) and attendance allowance, both the day you are admitted and the day you are discharged count as days out of hospital.

For all other benefits, the day you are admitted is treated as a day out of hospital and the day you are discharged is treated as a day in hospital.

How you benefits are affected

A stay in hospital affects your benefit in the following ways:

armed forces independence payment

Not affected.

attendance allowance

Stops after a total of four weeks (either in one stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than four weeks each time).

If you claim attendance allowance when you are already in hospital, it cannot be paid until you leave.

bereavement allowance

Not affected.

bereavement support payment

Not affected.

carer's allowance

If you go into hospital, your carer’s allowance will stop after 12 weeks.

If the person you are caring for goes into hospital, your carer’s allowance will stop when their attendance allowance, DLA care component or PIP daily living component stops.

child benefit

Child benefit is paid for the first 12 weeks if your child goes into hospital. After 12 weeks, you can continue to get child benefit only if you are regularly spending money on the child’s behalf (eg on clothing, pocket money, magazines).

If you continue to get child benefit, you will continue to get any child dependant’s addition that may still be payable with other benefits (such as carer's allowance), otherwise this will also end.

If you or your partner are in hospital, child benefit normally continues to be paid.

child tax credit

Child tax credit is not affected.

council tax support

Check with your local council.

disability living allowance

adults (aged 18 and over)

Stops after a total of four weeks (either in one stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than four weeks each time).

If you claim DLA when you are already in hospital, it cannot be paid until you leave.

If you have a Motability agreement in force when you go into hospital, where payment of the mobility component stops, Motability should not seek to recover the vehicle for up to four weeks.

children

This is paid for an indefinite period as long as the other qualifying conditions are met. This applies to anyone aged under 18 on the date they were admitted for the current hospital stay.

employment and support allowance

This is paid for an indefinite period as long as the other qualifying conditions are met. If you are getting income-related ESA, certain premiums and housing costs are affected:

  • Your severe disability premium will stop after four weeks if you are in hospital and you lose your attendance allowance, DLA care component or PIP daily living component. If you have a partner who is not in hospital and who also qualifies for the severe disability premium, they will continue to receive it.
  • Your carer premium will stop 8 weeks after your carer’s allowance stops.
  • After 52 weeks you will lose the enhanced disability premium unless you have a partner who satisfies the conditions for the premium themselves. You will also lose your work-related activity or support component.
  • Once you have been in hospital for a continuous period of 52 weeks, if you have no dependants living in your home, you can no longer receive ESA housing costs. If you have dependants or other people living in your home, their right to benefit depends on their own circumstances. If you are one of a couple and have been in hospital for 52 weeks, you and your partner are treated as separate claimants.

ESA can continue to be paid during a temporary absence abroad for the purpose of receiving NHS hospital treatment.

guardian's allowance

Guardian’s allowance is paid for the first 12 weeks if the child you care for goes into hospital. After 12 weeks, you can continue to get guardian’s allowance only if you are regularly spending money on the child’s behalf (eg on clothing, pocket money, magazines).

housing benefit

This is paid for up to 52 weeks as long as the other qualifying conditions are met. Certain premiums are affected sooner than this:

  • Your severe disability premium will stop after four weeks if you are in hospital and you lose your attendance allowance, DLA care component or PIP daily living component. If you have a partner who is not in hospital and who also qualifies for the severe disability premium, they will continue to receive it.
  • Your carer premium will stop 8 weeks after your carer’s allowance stops.

Once you have been in hospital for a continuous period of 52 weeks, if you have no dependants living in your home, you can no longer receive housing benefit. If you have dependants or other people living in your home, their right to housing benefit depends on their own circumstances. If you are one of a couple and have been in hospital for 52 weeks, you and your partner are treated as separate claimants.

incapacity benefit

Paid as long as you continue to satisfy the other qualifying conditions.

income support

This is paid for an indefinite period as long as the other qualifying conditions are met. Certain premiums and housing costs are affected:

  • Your severe disability premium will stop after four weeks if you are in hospital and you lose your attendance allowance, DLA care component or PIP daily living component. If you have a partner who is not in hospital and who also qualifies for the severe disability premium, they will continue to receive it.
  • Your carer premium will stop 8 weeks after your carer’s allowance stops.
  • After 52 weeks you will lose the disability premium, enhanced disability premium and higher pensioner premium unless you have a partner who satisfies the conditions for the premium themselves.
  • Once you have been in hospital for a continuous period of 52 weeks, if you have no dependants living in your home, you can no longer receive income support housing costs. If you have dependants or other people living in your home, their right to benefit depends on their own circumstances. If you are one of a couple and have been in hospital for 52 weeks, you and your partner are treated as separate claimants.

Income support can continue to be paid during a temporary absence abroad for the purpose of receiving NHS hospital treatment.

industrial injuries benefits

Constant attendance allowance stops after four weeks. Other benefits are not affected.

jobseeker's allowance

You cannot normally claim JSA while you are in hospital because you will not be deemed capable of work or able to satisfy the labour market conditions.

However, if you are already receiving JSA when you go into hospital, you can be treated as being capable of, available for, and actively seeking work for up to 13 continuous weeks in any rolling 12-month period.

When your JSA stops, you may be able to claim employment and support allowance instead.

JSA can continue to be paid during a temporary absence abroad for the purpose of receiving NHS hospital treatment.

maternity allowance

Not affected.

pension credit

This is paid for an indefinite period as long as the other qualifying conditions are met. Certain additional amounts and housing costs are affected:

  • The additional amount for severe disability will stop after four weeks if you are in hospital and you lose your attendance allowance, DLA care component or PIP daily living component. If you have a partner who is not in hospital and who also qualifies for the additional amount for severe disability, they will continue to receive it.
  • The additional amount for carers will stop 8 weeks after your carer’s allowance stops.
  • Once you have been in hospital for a continuous period of 52 weeks, if you have no dependants living in your home, you can no longer receive pension credit housing costs. If you have dependants or other people living in your home, their right to benefit depends on their own circumstances. If you are one of a couple and have been in hospital for 52 weeks, you and your partner are treated as separate claimants.

personal independence payment

Stops after a total of four weeks (either in one stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than four weeks each time) if you are aged 18 or over on the date you are admitted to hospital. This limit does not apply if you are aged under 18 on the date of admission; PIP can be paid for an indefinite period as long as the other qualifying conditions are met.

If you claim PIP when you are already in hospital, it cannot be paid until you leave.

severe disablement allowance

Paid as long as you continue to satisfy the other qualifying conditions.

state pension 

Not affected.

statutory adoption pay

Not affected.

statutory maternity pay

Not affected.

statutory paternity pay

Not affected.

statutory shared parental pay

Not affected.

statutory sick pay

Not affected.

universal credit

If you go into hospital, your universal credit is not affected.

Universal credit will be reduced if your partner goes into hospital for more than six months. You will need to claim as a single person.

If one of your children, or a qualifying young person, goes into hospital, your award will be reduced if they are in for more than six months.

If the person you are caring for goes into hospital, the ‘carer amount’ will no longer be included in your universal credit award once you no longer meet the qualifying conditions to carer's allowance.

war pensions

This may be increased when you go into hospital, if the treatment is for the war injury.

Constant attendance allowance and war pensioners’ severe disablement occupational allowance stop after four weeks.

widowed parents allowance

Not affected.

working tax credit

Working tax credit (WTC) is only affected if you cease to be treated as employed and no longer qualify for WTC.

Inform HM Revenue & Customs of such a change of circumstances to avoid unnecessary underpayment or overpayment.

Where can I get more help or information?

This factsheet is a basic overview of benefits in hospital. You can find out more detailed information in our Disability Rights Handbook. This and all our other publications are available from our shop at https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/shop. You can also place orders by contacting Disability Rights UK.

You can get help and information at your local advice centre, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can get more information about where to get personal advice from our Factsheet F15 - Getting advice. All our factsheets are free to download on our website at disabilityrightsuk.org.

Ian Greaves
9 June 2017