Backdated claims

If you qualify for housing benefit or council tax support, we’ll normally pay your benefit on the Monday after you asked for an application form (as long as you return the form within one calendar month of contacting us).

We can’t backdate council tax support unless you are of pensionable age.

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We can backdate housing benefit if there is a good reason why your claim is late.

If you think you have a good reason for making a late claim, tell us in writing straight away sending to Benefits, PO Box 676, Truro, TR1 9EQ. You must tell us the period you want your benefit backdated for and why your claim is late.  We will need to see proof of your income, savings and rent payments for the period you want to backdate your benefit and any proof to support your reasons for claiming late (for example, medical certificates or hospital letters). If you prefer to scan documents you can email them to

If you need help or advice, ring our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121.

For us to backdate your housing benefit claim, you must prove that:

  • You have a good reason for failing to claim earlier, and 
  • that reason was ongoing during the whole time you are asking for your claim to be backdated

Some examples of good reasons include:

  • You were ill and had no one to make a claim for you 
  • You have suffered a recent family bereavement
  • You were not able to manage your own affairs and had no one to help you
  • You were given the wrong advice by an official organisation who said you were not entitled to housing benefit

We will look at your claim. The more information and proof you give, the quicker we can make a decision.  We may write and ask you for more information.

We’ll write to you when we’ve made a decision about your claim. 

If you didn’t prove that you had a good reason for your late claim, we won’t be able to backdate it.  If this happens, we’ll explain why.

You can appeal against our decision.

If you or your partner is of working age, your housing benefit claim can be backdated for up to one month, if you qualified for benefit during this time. We can’t backdate council tax support.

If you or your partner is of pensionable age, we can backdate both housing benefit and council tax support. Your claim can be backdated for up to three months if you qualified for benefit during this time. Your claim will be backdated automatically. We don’t need to know why you didn’t claim sooner.