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Backdating housing benefit

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Backdating housing benefit is where we pay you for a period before the date you started to claim. However, there are rules about when a claim can be backdated.

Please remember:  It is best to claim housing and / or council tax reduction immediately – do not rely on backdating.

Backdating for people over pension age

If you are over pension age and able to claim housing benefit, we can backdate your claim for up to 3 months before the date when you made your claim, provided that you would have been entitled to claim during those 3 months.

Backdating for people over pension age will be considered automatically, but we will need to see proof of your income, savings (if they are £10,000 or more), and rent for that period when you make your claim.

Backdating for people under pension age

If you are under pension age, you will not be able to have your claim backdated unless you have continuous good cause as to why you were unable to claim from an earlier date. Depending upon the reasons you give for making your claim late, we could backdate your claim up to 1 month.

Possible good causes for backdating claims for people under pension age

If you have good cause for not claiming housing benefit at an earlier date, it is important that you tell us straight away. You will need to tell us in writing, and advise what date you wish to claim from and why you were unable to claim between that date and the date that you actually made your claim.

You must provide proof supporting the reasons why you were unable to claim at an earlier date – for example medical certificates and hospital letters.

You must also provide proof of the income, savings and the rent you were being charged during the period when you were unable to claim.

Examples of good cause for not applying for housing benefit are;

  • you were ill and had no one to help you make your claim
  • you were told by an official organisation, that you were unable to claim for housing benefit, when in fact you were entitled to do so
  • you were unable to manage your own affairs and had no one to help you

If you wish to make a claim in person, hand in forms or documents for your claim or seek advice about it, you can visit one of our one stop shops in Kingswood, Thornbury, Yate and Patchway.


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