Backdating claims

You can claim housing benefit and/or council tax support for a past period. This is called backdating.

Requesting a backdate

A request to backdate a claim must be in writing. You can complete the relevant part of the claim form that deals with backdating, or send a letter in separately. Do this as soon as you realise you want to ask for a backdate, as we can only go back the maximum period from when we receive your request.

You can apply for backdated council tax support or housing benefit using our online form below. Please answer all the questions on the form.

Alternatively, if you prefer, call into one of our offices and make your request for your claim to be backdated.

Maximum periods

The rules have changed from 1 April 2016 for Housing Benefit and a claim can only be backdated for a maximum of:

  • one month if you are under the qualifying age for Pension Credit, or
  • three months if you are the qualifying age for Pension Credit.

For Council Tax Support the rules have not changed and a claim can only be backdated for a maximum of:

  • six months if you are under the qualifying age for Pension Credit, or
  • three months if you are the qualifying age for Pension Credit.

If you are the qualifying age for Pension Credit we automatically consider backdating your claim for the three months prior to the date you made your claim.

Good cause

For a claim to be backdated we must be satisfied that:

  • you have shown good cause for failing to claim earlier and
  • that good cause existed continuously during the period for which backdating is being requested

Some examples of 'good cause' are:

  • if you did not immediately claim benefit after leaving hospital
  • if you were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf
  • if you did not understand that you could claim benefit perhaps because of age, inexperience or language difficulties
  • if you have suffered a recent family bereavement

This is not an exhaustive list, and meeting any of the reasons given does not guarantee that we will backdate your claim. We treat each individual case on its merits.

What happens when you ask for your claim to be backdated?

Your claim will be looked at as soon as possible. The more information and evidence you give in support of your request, the quicker we can make a decision.

In some cases we may phone you or write to you for more information or we may ask you to come in for an informal interview.

You will be sent a letter telling you of our decision. If we decide that you have not shown 'good cause', your claim will not be backdated. The reasons for this will be explained in our letter.

If you disagree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again, or you can appeal against it.

If you need any help or advice about backdates, please contact us: 

Last updated: 13 November 2018 13:01:05