Backdated council tax support and housing benefit

If you claim housing benefit, your payments usually start from the Monday after we receive your claim. In some circumstances, we can backdate your claim to start earlier.

See below if you are of pensionable age and claiming housing benefit or council tax support.

If you are working age we will normally pay your claim from the day you apply. However, we can within reason and at the council’s discretion pay the claim from an earlier date. This will not normally be earlier than the start of the financial year. Please tell us if you would like us to consider an earlier date than the date you submitted your application form.

There are different rules for backdating claims depending on your age.

If you or your partner are of pensionable age

Your claim will automatically be backdated for a maximum of three months depending on your circumstances.  There's no need for you to make a request.

If you or your partner are of working age and in supported accommodation

You can apply for housing benefit for a maximum period of one month. Please see ‘good reasons’ below.

The rules for claiming council tax support have changed from April 2020. You should tell us on your form why you want your claim to be considered from a date earlier than the date you applied.

Good reasons for backdating your claim

To ask for your benefit backdating, you'll need to give good reason why your claim's late. ‘Thinking that you may not be entitled to benefit’ or ‘not knowing that you could claim’ aren’t good reasons for backdating your claim.

Acceptable reasons why your claim is late include:

  • being too ill
  • bereavement
  • problems with postal services
  • not being given the right information by an official body or service, such as an advice centre
  • having to rely on others to deal with your affairs because you’re pensionable age, disabled or in poor health

How to claim backdated council tax support or housing benefit

You can apply for backdated council tax support or housing benefit using our online form below. Please answer all the questions on the form.

Sending your evidence

If we need more information from you, we’ll tell you what we need and when you need to provide it. You can upload any evidence to support your claim using our online form below.

What happens next

Once we’ve considered your evidence, we’ll let you know if your claim was successful.

If you claimed backdated council tax support, any backdated support will be shown on your council tax bill.

If you claimed backdated housing benefit, any backdated benefit will be paid the same way as your housing benefit.

Impartial advice

Contact the Citizens Advice Bureau if you need impartial advice on backdated council tax support and housing benefit.