Housing and Council Tax Benefit
If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you applying for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' so that it starts from an earlier date.
Under Housing and Council Tax Benefit law your claim for benefit must be made in writing, either on a benefits application form or by letter. Normally we will start your claim from the Monday after we receive your application form or letter. It is therefore very important that you get your application form or letter to us as soon as possible because it affects the date your benefit claim will start from. If we send you an application form we will allow you one calendar month to complete and return it. If you take longer than one calendar month to return the form you might lose your entitlement to some of your benefits.
The rules on backdating benefit
You can only ask for a backdate of benefits if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier. If you disagree with the date your claim starts from for any other reason you can appeal against the decision.
In order for a backdate of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit to be allowed you will have to show 'good cause' why you did not apply earlier. There is no formal definition of 'good cause', each case will be decided according to its own individual situation. There are no formal time limits on making a backdate request, but there are limits on the maximum period that a benefit claim can be backdated.
Changes to the backdating rules for Housing and Council Tax Benefit
New arrangements came into force from 6 October 2008 affecting:
- the prescribed time for claiming Housing/Council Tax Benefit (HB/CTB) for a person who has attained the qualifying age for State Pension Credit, and
- the maximum period for which HB/CTB claims may be backdated for a customer of working age
- reduce the time for claiming HB/CTB for Pension Credit age customers from 12 months to 3 months, and
- reduce the maximum period for which HB/CTB claims may be backdated for working age customers from 52 weeks to 6 months
More information can be found at the website of the Office of Public Information at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/stat.htm
If you require assistance with a backdate request you may wish to contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
Pages in Housing and Council Tax Benefit
- What is Housing and Council Tax Benefit?
- How is Housing and Council Tax Benefit calculated?
- How to claim
- Current claim
- What is Second Adult Rebate?
- What is a discretionary housing payment?
- When will my Benefit be paid?
- What happens if I am awarded benefit and I have a change in my circumstances?
- You are here: Backdating
- Benefit Fraud
- What to do if you disagree with a decision
- The Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
- Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
- Information from the Department of Work & Pensions regarding changes to Housing Benefit from April 2011
- Housing Benefit Change for Some Single People
- Changes to the Benefit System as of April 2013