Reduced Services

Accessing Council Services:  

  • You can access advice, or support with using our online services, by phoning 01268 882200 (8.45am to 5.15pm Mon to Thurs, and to 4.45pm on Fri)
  • The Kiln Road office will re-open for pre-booked appointments only (9.00am to 4.00pm), these can be arranged on a case by case basis by phoning 01268 882200.
  • You can find information and advice on COVID-19 and our 24/7 online services on our  Coronavirus information page

Backdating Benefit

Claiming backdated benefit

We can normally only pay benefit from the Monday after we receive your claim form in the office. It is important that you do not delay making your claim. Send us your completed claim form even if you do not have all the information we may need to work out your entitlement to benefit. We can write to you for this information after we receive your claim.

Sometimes delays in making a claim are unavoidable. In certain circumstances we may be able to pay you benefit for a period before you made your claim. This is called Backdated Benefit.

Backdating requests are only available for Housing Benefit. Backdating is not a policy for Local Council Tax Support .

We can consider backdating your Housing Benefit for a period up to 6 months from the date you make a request for backdated benefit.

You must make a request for backdated benefit in writing.

We can only backdate your benefit if you:

• demonstrate ‘good cause’ for not making a claim for benefit earlier and

• your good cause lasted throughout the period until your written request for backdating was actually made

What is ‘good cause’?

A Social Security Commissioner has defined good cause as:

Some fact which having regard to all the circumstances (including the claimant’s state of health and the information which he had received and that which he might have obtained) would probably have caused a reasonable person of his age and experience to act (or fail to act) as the claimant did.

Some examples of when claimants may have ‘good cause’ include:

• if the claimant was ill and had no-one to make the claim on his/her behalf

• if the claimant did not understand that he/she could claim perhaps because of age, inexperience, language difficulties, difficulties in understanding technical documents or some other reason.

• if the claimant was wrongly advised that he/she was not entitled to Housing Benefit

• if the claimant was unable to manage their financial affairs and did not have an appointee

If you want to request backdated benefit you need to tell us in writing:

• the date you want us to backdate your benefit to

• the reason why you did not claim earlier

• provide documentary proof in support of your request

We will consider your request for backdating and decide whether you have shown ‘good cause’.

We will write and tell you our decision.

If you disagree with our decision you should write to us within one month saying why you think it is wrong. We will look at your claim again and let you know the outcome. Or you can ask for your case to be reviewed by the Appeals Service, an organisation independent of the Council.

There are special rules applying to pensioners when it comes to backdating Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit and we may be able to backdate your claim automatically for a 3 month period. If you need more information about this you should contact us directly.