In exceptional circumstances you can claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for a past period.


How far back can I claim?

A claim can only be backdated for maximum of 1 month (working age claimants) or 3 months (pension age claimants) from the date you make your claim for backdated benefit.

Who is eligible to make a backdated claim?

In order for a claim to be backdated we must be satisfied that:

  • you have shown good cause for failing to claim earlier and
  • that good cause existed continuously during the period for which backdating is being requested

You will need to show continuous good cause for not claiming earlier and we must be satisfied that your circumstances, during this time were such that any reasonable person of your age and experience would also have failed to claim benefit.

You have to prove 'good cause' but we must take account of all the facts of your case.

Some examples of when you may have 'good cause' are:

  • if you did not immediately claim benefit after leaving hospital
  • if you were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf
  • if you did not understand that you could claim benefit perhaps because of age, inexperience or language barriers
  • if you have suffered a recent family bereavement

What happens after you have made a claim?

The more information and evidence you give in support of your claim the quicker a decision can be made.

Sometimes it may be necessary to write to you for more information or to ask you to come in for an informal interview.

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 more information please contact us at