Housing Benefit - Backdated Claims
This page tells you
- What is a backdate?
- When we can pay a backdate
- How to ask for a backdate
- What to do if you disagree with our decision
What is a backdate?
In some circumstances, we may be able to pay housing benefit for an earlier date than the date of your claim form. This is known as a “backdate”.
When can we pay a backdate?
Backdating is sometimes possible, but there are only limited circumstances, so it is best to make your claim for housing benefit as soon as possible.
The rules about when we can pay a backdate are different for people who are working age and people who have reached pension age.
If you (or your partner, if you have one) have reached pension age, you don’t have to ask us to backdate your claim – we will automatically check if we can when we receive your form. This only applies if you or your partner are not in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, or Employment and Support Allowance.
If we can backdate your claim, the most we can go back is 3 months before you made your claim.
We can sometimes backdate your housing benefit for up to 6 months until 31st March 2016. From 1st April this will change to 1 month, but you MUST have a good reason for not having claimed sooner. Please see below for how to ask us for a backdate.
How to ask for a backdate
If you haven’t made your housing benefit claim on time, you can write to us using this form and ask us to consider backdating. Backdate Request Form
You will need to give us the following information:
- the date you want your housing benefit to start
- details of your income, benefits, savings and rent for the period of the backdate – we will need to see original evidence of this, we cannot accept photocopies
- details of who was in your household during the period of the backdate
You MUST tell us why you didn’t claim sooner. You will have to show a good reason for not claiming earlier. You will need to show that you a good reason throughout the whole backdate period, although it does not need to be the same reason throughout.
Good reasons for not making a claim on time can include:
- you were ill
- you were in hospital
- you had a family crisis
- you were unavoidably away from home
- you thought you didn’t need to claim – you will need to tell us why
- you were advised not to claim – you will need to tell us who advised you
- you thought you were not allowed to claim, or would not get benefit – you will need to tell us why you thought this
- you didn’t understand you could claim, perhaps because of your age, your lack of experience of the system, difficulties with language or understanding documents - you will need to tell us what and how this affected you.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but gives you an idea of some of the thing we can consider.
What to do if you disagree with our decision
If we have refused your request for a backdate, you can
- As us to look at our decision again
- Appeal against our decision
If you’re not sure, please ask us to look at the decision again – you can still appeal at a later date if you still do not agree with us.