How is the Benefit Paid?

Once your claim has been processed, your benefit will usually start on the Monday after we receive your completed claim form.


Council Tax Reduction

Any Council Tax Benefit will be paid directly into your Council Tax account and you will receive a reduced bill.

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Housing Benefit

If you rent your home from the council, we will credit any benefit to your rent account once a week.

If you rent from a private landlord or a housing association we can either pay you or your landlord or letting association by BACS. The Council may pay your benefit to your landlord without your consent if your landlord has proved, to the Council’s satisfaction, that your rent is more than 8 weeks in arrears.

Your Housing Benefit payment is normally paid in arrears. If paid direct to your landlord it will be paid 4 weekly in arrears. If paid directly to you it will be paid either weekly, 2 weekly or 4 weekly in arrears, whichever is best for you.

If you want your Housing Benefit paid directly to you then you will need a bank account.

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Can my benefit be backdated?

Benefit normally starts from the Monday following the day we receive your claim form. However, in certain circumstances, it can be backdated. We can only accept a late claim if you can prove you have what we call 'continuous good cause'. This means that you must prove to the Council that you have a good reason for not writing to us earlier and the reason lasted throughout the time for which you now want to claim benefit.

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What is Good Cause?

The general test for 'good cause' is that any reasonable person of your age, health and experience would probably have failed to claim in the same way as you did.

For example, you were too ill to contact us or to ask someone, who would have been willing to help, to contact us for you.

Ignorance of your rights cannot normally, in itself, be regarded as good cause. This is largely because it is considered to be your duty to find out what you may be entitled to and make a claim for benefit. However, the benefit rules leave it open for you to put forward your particular reasons for a late claim.

Evidence will need to be supplied with the claim in order to support it. For example, if a person has confirmed they were ill during the period and could not contact our office ,a letter from their doctor or hospital could form part of the evidence.

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Maximum period for which a claim can be backdated

For working age customers, Housing Benefit can only be backdated for a maximum of 4 weeks and a Council Tax Reduction can only be backdated for a maximum of 6 months. 

For customers who are Pension Credit Age backdating is limited to 3 months.

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How to Apply for Backdated Benefit

If you think you have a good reason for making a late claim, please write to the Housing Benefits Service as soon as possible.

You must state clearly that you wish to apply for your benefit to be backdated, how far back you wish us to consider backdating your claim and your reason for not claiming earlier.

Any backdated benefit is calculated on your circumstances and the benefit rules which applied over the backdating period. If your circumstances changed over that period you may be asked to fill in another benefit claim form.

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Last Updated: 28 September 2021