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Housing benefit

Backdating claims

Sometimes we can award your benefit before the date of your claim. This is called 'backdating'.

Backdating Council Tax reduction

We usually award this from the Monday after we get your claim or the Monday after your application form was given to you if we receive it within one month.

If you are of pension age, we can consider backdating your claim for up to three months automatically.

If you are of working age, we cannot backdate your claim. Visit our Council Tax Reduction page for further help. We also have a discretionary payment scheme for backdated awards of Council Tax reduction, but can only be granted in extreme circumstances.

Backdating Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is awarded in a similar way to Council Tax reduction. The only difference is that the maximum amount of time we can backdate Housing Benefit is one month. This is if you can prove you had good reason for not claiming sooner, which is known as 'good cause'.

Please note that we can consider backdating your claim for up to three months if you are of pension age. 

Good cause

Some circumstances allow us to consider backdating benefit claims as 'good cause'. These reasons could be if you:

  • were ill and had no-one to make the claim for you
  • did not know your rights, for example where there have been changes in the law
  • did not understand that you could claim, perhaps because of age or language difficulties
  • had difficulty in understanding technical documents
  • were wrongly advised by an official organisation that you were not entitled
  • were unable to manage your affairs and did not have an 'appointee' or someone to help you.

How do I request my claim to be backdated?

If you think you have good cause for making a late claim, you should:

  • complete a claim form for the period in question and supply all the evidence as soon as possible
  • write to us explaining why you believe your claim should be backdated

You need to tell us the period you want it backdated for and give full details of why your claim was late. Please note that the one calendar month backdate is from the date that the backdate request is received. 

What happens next?

We will look at your reason for wanting your claim backdated and we will write to you with our decision.

If you don't agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again.