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Backdating housing benefit claims

Information on how far back can you claim your housing benefits.

How far you can backdate your claim depends on if you have reached the pension age or not. 

The qualifying age for receiving State Pension Credit has increased from 60 to at least 66 years and 6 months.

If you‘ve reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit (Pension age)

You don’t need to tell us why you didn't claim sooner.

We can backdate your claim for up to 13 weeks if you ask us to, as long as you tell us:

  • the date you want us to start your benefit 
  • details and evidence of money you received and your wealth during the time between the date you want your benefit to start and now
  • details of who was in your house at that time

If you're under the qualifying age for State Pension Credit (working age)

You must tell us why you didn’t claim sooner and your good reason should continue throughout the period in which you are asking for your claim to be backdated.

We can backdate your claim for up to 1 month if you have good cause and give us the following information:

  • the date you want us to start your benefit
  • details and evidence of any money you received and your assets between the date you want your benefit to start and now
  • details of who was in your house at that time

Each case is considered on its merit. ‘Good cause’ for one person may not be considered ‘good’ for another.

When deciding whether you have a good reason, we will consider how the following affected your claim:

  • your physical and mental health condition
  • household emergencies (such as death and grief)
  • language needs
  • your support
  • any incorrect advice you may have received

Not understanding the benefits system is not a good enough reason. 

This ‘good cause’ must exist from the date you want to claim up to the date the claim for backdating was made.

If there is a period where ‘good cause’ can’t be shown, your claim can’t be backdated to before that period.