Backdating Housing Benefit is where we pay you Housing Benefit for a period of time prior to the date you started to claim. Whether or not a claim can be backdated is governed by a set of rules. These are explained below.
Please note that it is best to claim Housing Benefit immediately you are entitled to it. You should not rely on backdating as a means to 'catch up'.
Backdating for people over the age of 60
If you are over 60 and able to claim Housing Benefit, we can backdate your claim for up to 3 months before the date when you made your claim, provided that you would have been entitled to claim during those 3 months.
The backdating for people over the age of 60 will happen automatically, but we will need to see proof of your Income, Savings and Rent for the period when you make your claim.
Backdating for people under the age of 60
Normally, if you are under the age of 60, you will be unable to have your claim backdated. Before we can consider backdating your claim, you will need to explain to us any exceptional circumstances or reason about why your claim was made late. Depending upon the explanation you give, we may consider backdating your claim for up to 1 month.
If you believe your claim should be backdated
If you are under 60 and you believe you have good reason for not claiming Housing Benefit at an earlier date, it is important that you tell us straight away, in writing, about this. You should provide details (e.g. the dates when you were unable to claim and reasons for this).
You must provide proof supporting the reasons why you were unable to claim at an earlier date – for example medical certificates and hospital letters.
You must also provide proof of the income, savings and the rent you paid during the period when you were unable to claim.
Examples of good cause for not applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are:
- You were ill and had no one to help you make your claim.
- You were told, incorrectly, by an official organisation, that you were unable to claim for Housing Benefit when in fact you were entitled to do so.
- A close relative had died.
- You were unable to manage your own affairs and had no one to help you.
- You did not claim immediately after leaving hospital, prison, or long term care.