Housing benefit and council tax support are normally only paid from the Monday following the date we receive your application form.
Benefit cannot normally be backdated and so it is important that you return your claim form to us straightaway.
If you want your claim backdated, you will have to show 'continuous good cause' on why you did not claim earlier. The reason must apply for the whole period you want benefit to be backdated for.
Some examples of continuous good cause include:
- death of a close relative
- being in hospital or seriously ill
- being wrongly advised by a person who should have known better
- language difficulties
To claim backdated benefit you need to fill in the request for backdated benefit form.
DocumentRequest for backdated benefit form
Working age customers
If you can show continuous good cause for not claiming throughout the whole period it is possible to consider backdating your claim. The maximum amount of time we can consider backdating your claim for housing benefit is 1 month. For council tax support, we can consider backdating your claim for up to 3 months.
You have to prove 'good cause' for not claiming earlier but we must take account of all the facts of your case. We must be satisfied that your circumstances during this time were such that any reasonable person of your age and experience would have failed to claim benefit.
Pension age customers
The time limit for backdating is 3 months for people who have reached the qualifying age for state pension. You can calculate your state pension age on GOV.UK.
The ‘good cause’ provisions will not apply to the 3 month period and as long as you were eligible to claim benefit during this period then your claim will automatically be backdated.