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 be backdated for a maximum of 1 month for people of working age and 3 months for people who are in receipt of pension credit. 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