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Can my claim be backdated?

Working age customers

Housing benefit and council tax reduction can be considered for backdating up to one month. This timescale changed in April 2016. 

You will need to submit your request for a backdate in writing. You will also need to show that you had continuous 'good cause' for failing to make an earlier claim. You can request backdated benefit on the benefit claim form or via a letter.

What is 'good cause'?

'Good cause' is something that prevented you from being able to make your claim at the right time. Unfortunately, 'not knowing' that you could have made a claim is not, by itself, a good enough reason to allow backdating. Examples of 'good cause' could be that:

  • You were ill;
  • You were in hospital;
  • You were unavoidably away from home;
  • You were unable to manage your affairs;
  • You had a family crisis;
  • You had difficulties because English is not your first language.

We will consider each case individually. We base our decision on the information you give to us. It’s important that you give us as much information as you can to support your request for backdating.

I have made a claim for backdating, what happens next?

Based on the information you have provided, we will decide whether or not we are able to backdate your benefit. We will send you our decision in writing.

What if I do not agree with your decision?

If we refuse your request, you can submit an appeal against our decision in writing. Housing benefit appeals must be made within one calendar month of the date of the decision being made. There is no time limit in which to submit a council tax reduction appeal.

Customers who have reached state retirement pension age

If you claim housing benefit and/or council tax reduction we must consider your claim from any period in the three months before the day the claim is actually received. We can only do this if you are liable to pay rent or council tax during this period and you are entitled to claim. If this is the case, we will write to you to ask for further details if we do not have them.

If you wish to find out when you will reach state retirement pension age you can use the state pension calculator.

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