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When will my housing benefit and council tax support claim start?

The date your housing benefit and/or council tax support starts will depend on:

  • how old you are,
  • the date you first contacted us to say you wanted to claim, or
  • the date you made a claim with the department for work and pensions (if applicable)

Pension age customers

If you, or your partner have reached state pension age and qualify for housing benefit and/or council tax support we will start your claim from the date 3 months before you first contacted us to make your claim providing:

  • we receive your claim within one calendar month of you contacting us and
  • you are actually entitled to benefit for those 3 months (if you are only entitled for part of the 3 month period we can only pay you for the period you are entitled)

We will pay you this benefit automatically. You do not have to make a special request for it. We cannot go back further than 3 months if you are a pensioner

Find out if you are treated as a pensioner when claiming housing benefit.

Working age customers

If you, and your partner if you have one, are of working age and qualify for housing benefit and/or council tax support we will normally pay your benefit from the Monday after you asked us for an application form as long as you return the application form within one calendar month. 

When you make a claim for housing benefit and/or council tax support over the phone through Jobcentre Plus, we will treat the date of your claim as the same date you contacted Jobcentre Plus.

Backdating housing benefit claims for working age customers

If you are of working age, sometimes housing benefit can be backdated from before the date you claimed. The longest time we can consider backdated benefit is six months. The situations where we can consider backdating are limited so it is always best to make your claim as soon as possible.

Backdating can only be considered if there is a good reason why your claim is late. These reasons must apply throughout the period want to claim backdated benefit for.

We may consider paying backdated benefit if:

  • you were ill and had no-one to make the claim for you.
  • you could not reasonably have been expected to know your rights, for example, where there have been changes in the law.
  • you did not understand that you could claim, perhaps because of:
    • age;
    • inexperience;
    • language difficulties;
    • you were waiting for a decision about another benefit;
    • you were given the wrong advice by an official organisation who you should have been able to rely on to give you correct information;
    • you were unable to manage your affairs and did not have someone to help you.

If you wish to claim backdated benefit please e-mail us at Please tell us the date you wish to claim from and provide as much information as you can to help us to consider your claim.

Backdating council tax support claims for working age customers

There is no provision to backdate claims for council tax support for working age applicants.

For those in financial difficulties and who are in receipt of council tax support and are struggling to pay their council tax there is a scheme of discretionary council tax payments.

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Position of Bury in the North West
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