Backdating benefits

Backdating Housing Benefit

If you think you may have been entitled to Housing Benefit before your claim has been started or before the date you have applied, and you have a really good reason for not having applied at the time, you can ask for your claim to be backdated. The rules for backdating Council Tax Reduction are slightly different.

What reasons are acceptable for backdating?

You must demonstrate the reason, what we call "continuous good cause", for the time you could have claimed but did not.

Examples of circumstances in which we would allow a request for backdating include:

  • You have been significantly unwell (this includes mental health problems) and unable to manage your personal affairs
  • You have experienced a personal trauma or bereavement
  • You have difficulty reading or writing and were not able to ask someone to help you, you must tell us why you were unable to ask someone
  • You were told you would not be entitled to benefits

Please note: We may require proof of these reasons.

How far back can my claim be backdated?

We can backdate your claim for a maximum of one month. If we agree to backdate your claim, you will be paid from the Monday following the date you have requested.

Pension-age and backdating

If you are of pension credit age, we can automatically backdate your claim for up to three months. You can use the government's state pension age calculator to work out whether you qualify for pension credit.

You do not need to give a reason for claiming late, you only need to show that you were entitled to benefit.

Evidence to support your request

We may ask you to provide evidence to support your request for backdating, if we need it. This could include:

  • A letter from a doctor
  • A letter from a health visitor
  • A letter from a social worker
  • A letter from a housing officer
  • A letter from a support worker

This list gives some, but not all, examples.

Our decision

We try to decide all claims within 14 days of an application being made with all associated supporting evidence.

If you disagree with our decision then you can appeal against our decision.