Backdating your benefits or reduction

If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you making a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated'.

When you can ask your benefit or reduction 

You can only ask for a backdate if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit or reduction earlier.

In order for a backdate of  benefits and reduction to be allowed you will have to show 'good cause' why you did not apply earlier. There is no formal definition of 'good cause', each case will be decided according to its own individual situation.

Some examples of when you may have good cause are that you:

  • did not immediately apply for a reduction after leaving hospital.
  • were ill and had no-one to make an application for you.
  • did not understand that you could apply for a reduction. This may be because of age, inexperience, or language difficulties.
  • have suffered a recent family bereavement

When you can ask us

There are no formal time limits on making a backdate request, but the maximum period that a benefit claim can be backdated from 1st April 2023, is:

  • one month for Housing Benefit
  • six months for Council Tax Reduction from the date we receive the backdate request for working age people
  • three months automatic backdate from the date we receive the backdate request for pensioners for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

How to ask for a backdate

You can do this by writing to the Benefits Team in your area:

If you’re not happy with the decision

You can ask us to give you a statement in writing to explain how we made our decision. This does not affect your right to appeal against our decision. The time we take to provide the statement will mean you have more time to ask us to look at our decision again or appeal to the Tribunal Service.

Make an appeal

Contact the Benefits Team