If you think that you may have been entitled to Housing or Council Tax Reduction and have a really good reason for not have been claiming before, you may be able to get the decision backdated. The decision can, from 1/4/2018 be backdated for a maximum of 1 month for Housing Benefit and 6 months for Council Tax Reduction for people of working age, and 3 months for people of pension age. To apply for this, you will need to state this when you fill in your Housing or Council Tax Reduction claim form and include a letter or statement with your form, which states the reasons you could not have claimed any earlier, or complete the separate backdated benefit claim form.
Good reasons for claiming late:
- You have been unwell and unable to manage your personal affairs.
- You have had mental health problems and unable to manage your personal affairs.
- You have experienced a personal trauma or bereavement.
- You have difficulty communicating in English.
- You have difficulty reading or writing and were not able to ask someone to help you.
- You were given information that was incorrect (this must have come from someone who should know about benefits, for example someone from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Housing/Council Benefit department or an advisor, but not family or friends).
- These are just examples of things that could have prevented you from claiming earlier. You might have other reasons.
It is best if you can provide a letter from someone to support your reasons for claiming earlier. This could be from your:
- Health visitor
- Social worker
- Housing Officer
- Support Worker