Claiming backdated benefits

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

When you claim, please inform us of:

  • your name;
  • your address;
  • your claim number (if known);
  • the date you want your claim to start from;
  • the 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. This affects the date your benefit claim starts. Your claim will normally 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.

To backdate a Housing or Council Tax Benefit, you must show 'good cause' why you did not apply earlier. There is no formal definition of 'good cause'. Each case is decided on an individual basis.

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.