Requesting Backdating

Backdating

It may be possible for a Housing Benefit claim and/or Council Tax Support application to start from an earlier date, this is known as backdating. A request for backdating must be completed in writing or online and include the date the customer wishes the claim to start and the reason for the delay in submitting the form. 'Good cause' must be shown for a delay in requesting backdating. The 'good cause' must have lasted throughout the period until a backdating request is received.

There are different backdating rules for claimants of working age and those who have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit.

Working Age Claimants

The maximum period a claim for Housing Benefit can be backdated is one month.

The maximum period a claim for Council Tax Support can be backdated is 6 months.

Claimants who have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit

The maximum period Pension Credit age customers Housing Benefit claim and/or Council Tax Support can be backdated is 3 months.

What does "Good Cause" mean?

Good cause usually falls into four categories:

  1. The customer was so ill or otherwise unable to make the claim and could not ask someone else to claim for them.
  2. The customer received incorrect advise from an official body or person.
  3. Good reason for the customer not believing they could claim, amounting to more than just not thinking or caring.
  4. External factors such as a postal strike by the General Post Office.


As well as 'good cause' the benefit unit takes some regard to all the circumstances (including the customers state of heath and the information which they might have obtained) that would have caused a person of their age and experience to act (or fail to act) as the customer did.

It is always the responsibility of the customer to prove 'good cause' and it is, therefore, essential that as much information as possible is provided when making a backdating request.

Each case is decided on its own merits; the Benefits Unit does not operate a blanket policy

You can apply for backdating by using our online form