Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support is usually awarded from the Monday after the day we receive your claim. Sometimes help can be provided from an earlier date if you have good reason(s) for not claiming earlier. This is called backdating.
Housing Benefit is now only available to the following groups:
- You / and your partner are over Pension Credit age
- You are Working age living in supported or temporary homeless accommodation
- You are in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium within an existing 'legacy' benefit
If you require help from an earlier date, you must tell us in writing when you want this from and why you did not claim earlier. Please supply proof to support this. Sometimes it may be necessary to write back to you for more information and evidence in support of your claim.
For Working Age customers' still eligible for Housing Benefit, claims can only be backdated for a maximum of one month. This period is extended to a maximum of up to six months for Council Tax Support claims.
This period begins from the date your request for a backdated claim is received by the Benefits Section. In order for a claim to be backdated, we must be satisfied that:
- you have shown good cause for failing to claim earlier
- that good cause existed continuously during the period for which backdating is being requested
When good cause applies
Examples of when you may have good cause include (please note, this list is not exhaustive):
- if you did not immediately claim after leaving hospital
- if you did not understand that you could claim perhaps because of age, inexperience or language difficulties
- if you have suffered a recent family bereavement
- if you were ill and had no one to make a claim on your behalf
For Pension Credit age customers, no good cause is required. It should be noted the maximum period that we are able to backdate a claim is three months.
We will write to you telling you what the decision is. If the decision is taken that you have not shown good cause and we are unable to backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter. You have a right of Appeal Against this Decision.