If you are of Working Age the maximum period that a claim can be backdated is six months from the date on which we receive the request for backdating.
In order to backdate Housing and/or Council Tax Support you will have to show 'good cause' why you did not make your application earlier. Although there is no exact definition of 'good cause' within legislation, we will consider each case individually. Case law relating to Housing and Council Tax Support shows that the circumstances in which a claimant has ‘good cause’ usually fall into four broad categories:
- The claimant was so ill (physically or mentally) or otherwise unable to act that they could not claim and could not ask someone to claim for them.
- Someone the claimant should have been able to rely on (such as the authority, DWP, CAB) advised them they could not get Housing and/or Council Tax Support when in fact they could.
- There were good reasons for the claimant not believing they could claim, amounting to more than just not thinking or not caring.
- Some external factor prevented the claimant from making a claim (e.g. failure of the postal service, imprisonment).
These categories are only a guide to help you; they are not a complete list of all possible reasons. Whatever your circumstances for not claiming earlier they must have continued throughout the period until you actually claimed benefit.
When a backdated claim is made your claim will be considered and you will be advised in writing of our decision. The more information and evidence you can provide in support of your claim the quicker a decision can be made. However there may be times when it will be necessary to contact you for more information.
If we have decided that you have not shown "good cause" and that we cannot backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter. You will then have the right of appeal against our decision not to backdate your claim.
If you would like to make a claim for backdated benefit, you must put your request in writing or follow this link to our online form.
Housing Benefit Department: