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Backdating housing benefit claims

For your claim to be backdated we must be satisfied that you have a good reason for failing to claim earlier.
Universal Credit this year

Every five to six years, the calendar makes it so we have 53 Mondays instead of the usual 52. This coming financial year, 2024 / 2025, is one of those special years.

If you get Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions will only pay for 52 weeks of your rent in a year. In a 53 week financial year, this means there will be one week of rent that will not be covered by Universal Credit.

Find out what we're doing to help and what to do if you're affected and already struggling with the cost of living.

For example:

  • if you were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf

  • if you did not understand that you could claim benefit, perhaps because of age, inexperience or language difficulties

  • if you have suffered a recent family bereavement.

A claim may be backdated for a maximum of one month from the date of your claim (if you are working age), or three months (if you are of pensionable age).

What happens when you make a backdated claim

Your claim will be considered by a benefits officer. The more information and evidence you give in support of your claim the quicker a decision can be made.

Sometimes we may need to write to you for more information or to ask you to come in for an informal interview.

If we decide we cannot backdate your claim we will explain the reasons for our decision in a letter. You will then have the right of appeal against our decision not to backdate your claim.


Housing benefit