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Backdating

If you have a good reason for not claiming your benefits earlier, you can ask us to consider backdating your benefits.

If you think you have a good reason for making a claim late, you should tell us in writing straight away. You must tell us the period you want to backdate your benefit for and tell us why your claim is late.

We will need to see proof of your income, savings and rent payments for the period you want to backdate your benefit for and any proof to support your reasons (for example, medical certificates or hospital letters).

If you would like some help, please ask us. You can also get help from an advice agency, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau.

What do you consider to be a good reason?

Unfortunately, the Benefit Regulations do not say what are, and what are not, good reasons so we look at each case individually. 'Good cause' is a reason that prevented you from claiming benefit earlier.

Before we can backdate benefit, we must be satisfied that anyone else of the same age and with the same health and experience as you would probably not have claimed.

Not knowing that you could claim benefit earlier will not normally be considered as a good reason. However, not claiming because you were in hospital or had severe health problems or a close relative had died could be considered as 'good reasons'. 'Good reasons' must apply for the whole period you're asking us to backdate your benefit for.

How far back can my claim be backdated?

Pension Age claimants

If you, or your partner, are of state pension credit qualifying age and qualify for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support we can backdate your benefit up to 3 months before the date your claim is received (as long as you were entitled to benefit for that period). We do not need to know why you did not claim sooner to backdate your benefit. For us to work out how much benefit you will be entitled to, you need to give us proof of your income, savings and rent for the period you want to claim.

Working Age claimants

If you qualify for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support, we will normally pay your benefit from the Monday following the day your completed claim form is received.

Up to 1 April 2016 you can make a written request for your claim to be backdated up to six months before the date your written request is received.

From 1 April 2016 the Government has shortened the period over which a claim for Housing Benefit can be considered for backdating, from six months to one month (this rule change does not apply to working age Council Tax Support claimants)

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