Housing Benefit: Backdated claims

Last updated 17 July 2013

Your benefit will usually start:

  • From the Monday after we receive your form
  • Or after you first contacted us asking to claim. You must get your completed form to us within a month of contacting us

If you think you might be entitled, make a claim as soon as possible so you don't lose out.

Sometimes we can pay benefit from an earlier date if there is a continuous good cause (reason) why you did not claim from that date. The maximum we can backdate your claim is up to 26 weeks if you are under pension age. If you are over pension age we can go back up to 13 weeks.

To allow an award for a backdated period, you must be able to show that you have continuous ‘good cause’ for failing to make a claim at the correct time to allow the award for that period to be made. This ‘good cause’ must exist from the date you wish to claim from up to the date the claim for backdating was actually made. If a period exists where ‘good cause’ cannot be shown, your claim cannot be backdated before that period.

Each case is considered on its merit. ‘Good cause’ for one claimant may not be considered ‘good cause’ for another. Amongst other things, your health condition (both physical and mental), household emergencies (such as bereavement), language needs, support available to you and any incorrect advice you may have received is all taken into account in making our decision.

Ignorance of the benefit system is not good cause

If you want us to consider paying your benefit from an earlier date, tell us when you want benefit paid from and why you did not claim earlier. Please provide any supporting evidence to allow us to consider your request.


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