Backdated claims


Awards of housing and/or council tax reduction usually start from the first Monday after the day you make your claim.

Sometimes housing benefit can be paid before the date you made your claim. This is called backdating. Please note that under Ealing Council’s local council tax reduction scheme, claims for council tax reduction cannot be backdated for working age people.

For a claim to be backdated

We must be satisfied that:

  • you have shown 'good cause' for failing to claim earlier, and
  • 'good cause' existed continuously during the period for which backdating is being requested.

We must be satisfied that during this time there were valid reasons why it would be reasonable for you or a person of your age and experience to have failed to claim benefit earlier.

You have to prove 'good cause'’ but we must take into account all the facts of your case.

Good cause
Examples of good cause are if you:

  • did not immediately claim benefit after leaving hospital
  • were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf
  • did not understand that you could claim benefit perhaps because of age, inexperience or communication difficulties (you are expected to take reasonable steps to find out your rights and duties and make enquiries with the Benefits Service.  There are organisations that can communicate with you in your own language so the inability to speak English will not usually be 'good cause' for not having claimed earlier).
  • have suffered a recent family bereavement
  • were not aware of changes to legislation that change the conditions of entitlement to housing benefit.