Renfrewshire Council

Backdating your housing benefit claim

Housing Benefit can only be backdated up to one month from the date of your request (for working age customers), or three months from the date of your request (for pension age customers). Depending on what you tell us we may ask for supporting evidence, such as a letter from your doctor if you are ill.

You must show us:

  • you had good reason(s) for not making your claim sooner 
  • these reasons cover the whole period you are asking us to pay up to the date you make the backdate request
  • you would have qualified for benefit/reduction for this whole period.

We treat each claim/application on its own merits, but in general we will take into account any factors that would have caused a person of your age, health and experience not to have claimed/applied earlier. These might include:

  • not being able to understand the regulations because of your age, level of literacy or language abilities, or
  • being unable to deal with your affairs because of illness.

We will not backdate your benefit/reduction if your only reason for not claiming/applying sooner is that you didn't know you could, or didn't know about any time limit for claiming/applying. It is your responsibility to contact us or the Department for Work and Pensions if you are unsure about your rights or duties.

Official Appointee

If you had an official appointee acting on your behalf during the period you want your benefit/reduction backdated to, we make a judgement based on their actions and not yours. In other words, it is your appointee who would have to show "good cause" for failing to make an earlier claim/application.

If you disagree with the decision

If you disagree with our decision you can ask us to look at it again, and if you are still not happy after we have done this, you can appeal. Further details of the appeals process is available on our 'Appeal your Housing Benefit claim' page.