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Backdating Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support
What is backdating?
If your benefit is backdated, you usually get a lump sum payment to cover the period before you claimed.
How to get your benefits backdated
You can claim backdated benefits in either of the following ways:
- you can ask to backdate your claim when you apply for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support
- use the request backdated benefits form to apply for backdated benefit after you have claimed Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support
You need to show that you had good reason throughout the backdate period for not claiming benefit.
Good reasons for claiming late
Some examples of reasons why you did not claim earlier include:
- death of a close relative
- being in hospital or seriously ill
- language difficulties
- being unable to manage your affairs and having no one to help you
Also, being wrongly advised by an official person such as:
- council staff
- social worker
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Department for Work and Pensions
There may be other good reasons why you've claimed late. We will look at your situation and decide if your delay was reasonable.
The following are not good reasons:
- did not know you could claim benefit
- knew that you could claim benefit but had delayed or decided not to
- lost your claim form
- delay in returning the claim form
How far back can my claim be backdated?
For customers under pension age, we can backdate your claim for a period of up to:
- 1 month for Housing Benefit
- 6 months for Council Tax Support (this is 1 month or 6 months from the date that written request is received)
What happens after my claim has been made?
When we receive your form and have the supporting information, we will let you know by post if your benefits will be backdated.
What should I do if my backdate request is not successful?
If you think the benefit decision is wrong. You can challenge our decision by:
- ask us to change the decision
- appeal against our decision by requesting and completing the appeal form - you must appeal within one month of receiving your decision letter