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Backdating your benefit claim

In certain circumstances you can ask for your claim to start from an earlier date - this is called backdating.

What is backdating?

Your claim for benefit normally starts from the Monday after we receive your claim. However, in certain circumstances you can ask for your claim to start from an earlier date. This is called backdating. You can only ask for your benefit to be backdated if there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier.

In order for a backdate of Housing and Council Tax Benefit to be allowed you will have to show 'good cause' why you did not apply earlier. There is no formal definition of 'good cause', each case will be decided according to its own individual situation.

Examples include:


The maximum period that a benefit claim can be backdated depends up on your circumstances. The main rule is as follows;

However if you are a man aged 60 - 64 special rules apply;

Apply for a backdate

If you are applying for help with your rent or council tax there is a section in the application form in which you can apply for a backdate.

Calls to the benefits department may be recorded for training and service improvement purposes, and to help prevent and detect fraud. Our call recording protocol provides more information on this.