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Frequently Asked Questions

If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you applying for housing benefit and/or council tax support you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' so that it starts from an earlier date.

The start date of your housing benefit and/or council tax support claim

Under housing benefit and council tax support law your claim for benefit/support must be made in writing.  Normally we will start your claim from the Monday after we receive your application form.  It is therefore very important that you get your application form to us as soon as possible because it affects the date your benefit claim will start from.

The rules on backdating  housing benefit/council tax support

You can only ask for a backdate of benefit/support if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit/support earlier.  If you disagree with the date your claim starts from for any other reason you can ask for a reconsideration of the decision.

In order for a backdate of housing benefit or council tax support to be allowed you will have to show continuous good cause as to why you did not apply earlier. 

This must apply to the whole of the period for which you would like your claim to be backdated. There is no formal definition of 'good cause' - each case will be decided according to its own individual situation.  There are no formal time limits on making a backdate request, but the maximum period that a benefit/support claim can be backdated is 6 months for working age customers, or 3 months if you are aged 60 or over,  from the date that we receive your request for backdating. 

If you want us to consider backdating your housing benefit / council tax support claim you will need to write to us stating that you want your claim to be backdated and specify the period that you want the backdating for, giving reasons why you did not apply earlier.  This request must be signed by you.

If you require any further information or would like an application form sent to you then please contact the benefits team.