Backdating your claim

Usually a Housing Benefit claim is paid from the following Monday after it has been received. However, occasionally, some customers will want it paid from an earlier date, in other words, they want us to 'backdate' their benefit. 

Backdating is sometimes possible but it can only be done in limited circumstances so it is always best to make your claim as soon as possible. For example don't delay your claim because you can't get the evidence we need. Send your claim to us and provide the evidence later, but within one month.

If you do need us to backdate your benefit, the rules about when we can backdate are different for different groups of people. It depends on whether or not you have reached the 'qualifying age for State Pension Credit'. You can see the date you reach this qualifying age on the Government's website. Look for the date you may be entitled to receive Pension Credit from, not the date you reach State Pension age. 

  • Pension Credit age customers (who have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit) can have their Housing Benefit backdated for up to three months before the date of their claim. If your circumstances were the same three months before you made the claim as they were when you claimed, please contact us to discuss backdating. 
  • Working age customers (under the qualifying age for State Pension Credit) can have their Housing Benefit backdated for up to one month before the date of their claim from 1 April 2016 onwards. 

However, unlike pension age claims, you must show that you had good reason (referred to as “good cause” in the relevant regulations) for not claiming earlier. 

It is up to you to show that you had good cause throughout the whole period you are asking for backdating for. It does not have to be the same reason throughout the period. 

These are some of the reasons that could be used to show “good cause” 

  • You were so ill (physically or mentally) or unable to act for some other reason, that you could not make a claim or ask someone else to claim for you. 
  • You were given bad or wrong advice about benefit by someone whom you should have been able to rely on to give you correct information, such as the Council, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or an advice agency. 
  • You had good reasons to believe you couldn't claim
  • There was something over which you had no control that prevented you from making a claim, such as a postal strike or your imprisonment. 

This isn't a full list, just a list of the commonest types of reasons. You will be expected to explain your reasons fully and give us evidence to support what you tell us. 

If you would like further information, then please contact us to discuss.