Backdating my benefits claim

Sometimes, customers want their housing benefit and/or council tax reduction to start from a date before they made their claim. This is called backdating.

Backdating can only be given where there are exceptional circumstances that prevented a claim from being made earlier. Examples include:

  • you were too ill to claim and there was no one else who could help you
  • you've sought information about claiming benefit but were wrongly advised
  • you have difficulty speaking English and didn't understand that you could claim

We wouldn't normally allow backdating if your claim was delayed because you forgot to claim or weren't aware that you were entitled.

In any event, it's always best to make your claim as soon as possible. Don't delay because you can't provide the evidence we need. Send your claim to us and provide the evidence later.

The rules about when we can backdate depend on whether or not you have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit.

  • Pension age customers
    We can sometimes backdate the start of your benefit for up to three months before the date you claimed. You don't need to apply for this or explain why you didn't apply sooner unless you're receiving income support or jobseeker's allowance. We look out for claims we can backdate, but let us know if you think we should have backdated your claim and haven't
  • Working age customers
    We can sometimes backdate the start of your benefit for up to one month before the date you claimed housing benefit and council tax reduction. In both cases, you must have good reason for not claiming sooner throughout the period that you're asking for backdating


To apply for backdating, complete our backdating request form.

Backdating request form

Alternatively you can ring us on 01423 500600 for a form.

If you're making a new claim for benefit, you can apply for backdating on our main claim form.

Benefits claim form

Enquiries form