You should give us all the information we need within one month of us receiving your form. If you do this we will normally pay any benefit you are entitled to from the Monday after we get your application.
Housing benefit can only be backdated in special circumstances. You will need to show you had a continuing good reason for not claiming earlier and that the reason you did not claim continued for the whole time you are asking for your housing benefit to be backdated.
The maximum period a claim can be backdated to is six months from the date you initially make the backdate request.
Examples of reasons that may result in a backdated claims include:
- if you were ill and had no-one to help you make a claim
- if you have been dealing with personal difficulties such as a recent close family bereavement
If you feel your claim should be backdated we will need to know why you were late in sending us your application form and the date you think your housing benefit should be paid from. You need to write to us asking us to look at backdating your claim.
In the letter you must explain why you did not claim earlier and why you think your housing benefit should be backdated.
We will try and give you a decision as soon as we can but sometimes we may need to write to you for more information or to ask you to come in to discuss your backdating claim.
When we consider whether your housing benefit can be backdated we have to decide if any reasonable person in your situation would have been unable to make a claim for benefit for that period of time.
We will write and tell you our decision on your request for backdating. If we decide we cannot backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter.
If you think our decision not to backdate your claim is wrong, then you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered.