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Jobseeker's Allowance: Habitual Residence Test

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 17352, tabled on 23 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to amend the three month rule for the habitual residence test to allow access to income based jobseeker's allowance for UK nationals returning to the UK after a period away who have retained financial commitments at home.

Answered on

27 November 2015

It has always been the case that any UK national who returns to this country after an extended period must demonstrate they are habitually resident to be eligible for income-related benefits. Since 1 January 2014, most jobseekers must also have been living in the UK for three months before any consideration can be given to whether they are habitually resident to be eligible to receive income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.


Regulations were amended from 9 November 2014 to exempt from the three month residence requirement members of the Armed Forces and Crown servants who were serving abroad and others who had paid certain types of UK national insurance contributions during their absence abroad. We have no plans to introduce further exemptions from the three month requirement.