Under the Housing Benefit regulations, local authorities are unable to backdate benefit before the date of the claim, ie. the Monday following the date the claim was received by the Council or the date income support started. This applies to all claims.
In certain cases however an exception can be made but the claimant must show "good cause" for the reason the claim was late and this is defined as follows:
" - 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".
If you wish to make a claim for backdating of benefit you must do so in writing to the Housing Benefits Manager at the Council Offices together with your reasons for not claiming at an earlier date. Backdating is limited to six months for working age claimants and for three months for pensioners. From 1 April 2016 the backdating of housing benefit will be limited to one month for working age claimants as per Central Government.
Backdating of benefit cannot be considered if a period of 52 weeks has passed before the claim was made.
It is expected that people will take reasonable steps to find out if benefits are due to them. For example, the Citizens Advice Bureau offers help and advice, as does the local authority itself.