Housing Benefit, including Local Housing Allowance and Council Tax Support is normally paid from the following Monday after we receive your claim.
It is always best to make your claim as soon as possible. Backdating benefits is sometimes possible depending on the circumstances. The rules about when we can backdate a benefit are different for different groups of people.
Pension age customers
If you are a pension age customer, we can sometimes backdate the start of your benefit to up to three months before the date you claimed. You do not need to tell us why you didn't claim sooner.
Pension age customers are those who have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit. Check your state pension age to check the date you may be entitled to start receiving Pension Credit.
Please note that if you or your partner have reached the State Pension Credit qualifying age but either of you receives Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit we treat you as working age, not pension age.
Working age customers
Working age customers are those under the qualifying age for State Pension Credit. We can sometimes backdate the start of your benefit (but not education benefits) up to one month before the date you claimed. You must have good reason for not claiming sooner.
What is a good reason?
- Death of a close relative
- Being in hospital or seriously ill
- Language difficulties
- You were given poor or incorrect advice about benefit by someone who you should have been able to rely on, 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 that prevented you from making a claim, such as a postal strike or your imprisonment.
This is not a conclusive list and you will be expected to explain your reasons fully and provide supporting evidence.
Apply for backdated benefits
If you have not yet applied for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you can request backdating your benefits on the application form by telling us why you have delayed making a claim.
If you are already receiving benefits, you will need to write to us to request backdating your benefits. Please detail your name, address, reference number, the date you would like to claim from and your reason for requesting the backdate at this stage.