Backdating Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

If you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, your benefit usually starts from the Monday after we receive your claim. In some circumstances, we can backdate your claim to start earlier.

There are different rules for backdating claims depending on your age.

If you or your partner are of pensionable age:

Your claim will automatically be backdated for a maximum of three months depending on your circumstances. There's no need for you to make a request.

If you and your partner are of working age:

You can apply for backdated benefit for a maximum period of one month from the date of your request. However, we can only backdate your claim if you have a good reason as to why your claim is late.

Good Reasons for backdating your claim

Thinking that you may not be entitled to benefit’ or ‘not knowing that you could claim’ aren’t good reasons for backdating your claim.

Acceptable reasons why your claim is late include:

  • You have been too ill or in hospital
  • Bereavement
  • You are unable to manage your financial affairs and no-one was available to help you
  • You have not been given correct information from an official body or service, such as an advice centre.

How to claim backdated Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support

You can ask for your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support to be backdated when you apply. Send a covering letter to explain your circumstances in more detail and enclose supporting evidence, if there's not enough space to explain things on your application. If we need more information we will write to you to tell you what we need.

What happens next?

Once we’ve considered your request, we’ll let you know if your claim was successful.

If you claimed backdated Council Tax Support, any backdated support will be shown on your council tax bill.

If you claimed backdated Housing Benefit, any backdated benefit will be paid the same way as your housing benefit is paid.

If we cannot backdate your claim, we will explain the reasons why. If this is the case, you can appeal against our decision -  for more information see Appeals for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.