Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support is usually awarded from the Monday after the day we receive your claim.
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.
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 Working Age claims.
This period begins from the date your request for a backdated claim is received by us. 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. 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 to appeal against this decision.