Student loan when you have lived abroad

Hey I was wondering if anyone could advise.
I was surprised to be told over the phone today that I was not eligible for student finance as I had worked abroad for 8 months within the last three years. The reason I rang was I had received a letter with incorrect details asking for proof I was abroad on a temporary contract and I always intended to return to the UK.
I confused why ask for evidence if I was going to be denied anyway. Am I entitled to student finance if I was only abroad temporarily on a fixed contract/ visa. Any help much appreciated. Thanks.

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