Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support


If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed, you applying for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' so that it starts from an earlier date.

Under Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support 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 Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit and support 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 Support 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 and support claim can be backdated. 

Pensionable age for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

If you are pensionable age special backdating rules apply. A claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can be backdated for a maximum of three months from the date of your application or from the date that you or your partner became pensionable age if this is later.

Customers who are working age

If you are working age we can backdate your claim for a maximum of one month from the date of your application.

If you require assistance with a backdate request you may can contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau for advice.