Can an Application Be Backdated?

If you are working age and have not been able to submit an application for Housing benefit to start when you needed it,  you might be able to have your claim backdated. However, you will need to show 'good cause' for your application to be backdated, such as:     

  • if you have been in hospital or have been severely ill    
  • if you have suffered a recent bereavement   
  • if you have had a family crisis      
  • if you have been given wrong advice from someone who you should be able to rely on (such as council staff, a social worker or staff from the Department for Work and Pensions)

An application can only be backdated for up to one month from the date a request has been made if you are of working age.

If you are of pension age then an application can be automatically backdated  for up to three months from the date of your claim, without having to make a request for backdate or show 'good cause' for the delay.

Can I Get Housing Benefit Before I Move In?

Usually, Housing benefit can only be paid to you from the date you move in to a property. There are some circumstances where benefit payments may be made before you move in, such as:      

  • if your move has been delayed because you are waiting to leave hospital care or a care home        
  • if you are waiting for a decision to be made about a social fund payment or for local welfare provision    
  • if you are waiting for adaptions to be made on your property because of a disability

If any of these circumstances apply then Housing Benefit may be awarded to you up to four weeks before you move in but this is at the discretion of your local council.