Claiming backdated benefits

Under Housing and Council Tax Benefit law your claim for benefit must be made in writing, either on a benefits application form or by letter.

When you claim please inform us of:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Claim number (if known)
  • Date you want your claim to start from
  • Reason you are late in applying for benefit

The start date of your benefit claim

It is important that you send your application form or letter to us as soon as possible, as it affects the date your benefit claim starts. Normally, your claim will start from the Monday after we receive your application form or letter.

You can only ask for a backdate of benefits if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier. If you disagree with the date your claim starts, you can appeal against the decision.

In order for a backdate of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit 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 individually.

Are there any time limits?

There are no formal time limits on making a backdate request. The maximum period that a claim can be backdated is:

  • 1 month for Housing Benefit and 26 weeks for Council Tax Reduction from the date we receive the backdate request.