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Housing benefit

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

4. Backdated housing benefit

If something stopped you from applying for housing benefit at an earlier date, you can ask for your claim to be backdated to this date. A claim can only be backdated for a maximum of one month for working age claimants.

You will need to prove good cause for failing to claim earlier, and that this good cause existed continuously during the period for which you've requested backdating for.

Examples of good cause include:

  • you did not immediately claim benefit after leaving hospital
  • you were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf
  • you did not know that you could claim benefit, perhaps because of age, inexperience or language difficulties
  • you have suffered a recent family bereavement

Pension Age claimants

If you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit we can backdate your benefit automatically to a maximum of three months from the date of your claim. You do not need to show good cause but you must provide proof of your income for the period of backdating.

How do I make a claim for backdating?

Download and complete the housing benefit application form in writing. You will need to fill in details about your backdating claim in Part 11 of the form.

If we accept your claim, we will start your claim from the Monday after we received your application form. Therefore it is important that you get your form to us as soon as possible.

What happens next?

Based on the information you have provided, we will decide whether we are able to backdate your benefit. We will send you a letter informing you of our decision. If we have decided that you have not shown good cause and that we cannot backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter.

If you disagree with our decision, you can ask us to look at our decision again.

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