Backdated claims

If you qualify for Housing Benefit we usually pay it from the Monday after we receive your claim.

Sometimes we can pay benefit before the date you claim. This is called 'backdating' your claim.

The law says that we can backdate a Housing Benefit claim for up to 1 month if you are of working age. A backdate request must be made in writing on either the benefit claim form or in a letter. There has to be a good reason why your claim is late. This is known as 'good cause'. Good cause must be continuous for the period you want backdated benefit.


Pensioners do not have to make a request in writing or have 'good cause'. We automatically consider their entitlement for 3 months before their date of claim.   

What do you mean by 'good cause'?

Good causes include:

  • If you were ill and had no-one to make the claim for you
  • If you could not reasonably have been expected to know your rights, for example, where there have been changes in the law.

If you did not understand that you could claim, perhaps because of:

  • Age
  • Inexperience
  • Language difficulties
  • Difficulty in understanding technical documents
  • You were wrongly advised by an official organisation that you were not entitled to benefit
  • You were unable to manage your affairs

What can I do if I disagree with your decision?

If you don't agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again. Our letters tell you what your rights are.