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Benefits & Council Tax Support

Backdating

If you would like to make a claim for backdated benefit, you must put your request in writing. 

Make a Backdating request online

Backdating request - Printable version

Generally, when you make a new claim for Housing and/or Council Tax Support we can pay from the Monday following the date we received your claim. In some cases, we can pay benefit from an earlier date, this is called backdating.

Claims for housing benefit can only be backdated for 1 month for working age claimants. Pensioner claims can be backdated for up to 6 months.

In order to backdate Housing and/or Council Tax Support you will have to show continuous 'good cause' for why you did not make your application earlier. Case law relating to Housing and Council Tax Support shows that the circumstances in which someone has continuous ‘good cause’ usually fall into four categories:

  • the claimant was so ill (physically or mentally) or otherwise unable to act that they could not claim and could not ask someone to claim for them
  • someone the claimant should have been able to rely on (such as the authority, DWP, CAB) advised them they could not get Housing and/or Council Tax Support when they could
  • there were good reasons for the claimant not believing they could claim, amounting to more than just not thinking or not caring
  • some external factor prevented the claimant from making a claim (e.g. failure of the postal service, imprisonment)

These categories are only a guide to help you. They are not a complete list of all possible reasons. Whatever your circumstances for not claiming earlier they must have continued throughout the period until you actually claimed benefit. 

When a backdated claim is made, your claim will be considered and you will be advised, in writing, of our decision. The more information and evidence you can provide to support your claim, the quicker a decision can be made. 

However, there may be times when it will be necessary to contact you for more information.

If we have decided that you have not shown "good cause" and we cannot backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter. You will then have the right to appeal against our decision.