Backdating your Benefit
When can my benefit be backdated?
We normally pay benefit from the Monday after we receive your claim form. It may be possible to backdate your claim if you can show 'good cause' as to why you did not claim earlier. You must be able to satisfy us that you had 'good cause' for the whole period that you are requesting the backdate to cover.
If you or your partner have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit, your claim covers any period in the three months before the day the claim is actually received by your Local Authority - but only back to the day that you reached state pension credit age or the day you became liable for rent or council tax, if this is later. This is not the same as backdating a claim.
If you or your partner are under the qualifying age for state pension credit, you may apply for benefit from an earlier date. This is called backdating. You must show that you 'had continuous good cause' for failure to make the claim earlier. If we are satisfied with the explanation you give, we can backdate your claim for up to a maximum of 26 weeks from the date that we receive your request. (The 26-week maximum period is set by the Government)
What is 'good cause'?
'Good cause' is something that prevented you from being able to make your claim at the right time. Unfortunately, just 'not knowing' that you could have made a claim is not, by itself, a good enough reason to allow backdating.
Examples of 'good cause' could be that:
- you were ill
- you were in hospital
- you were unavoidably away from home
- you were unable to manage your own affairs
- you had a family crisis
- you had difficulties because English is not your first language
We look at each case individually but can only make a decision based on the information you give to us, so it is really important that you give us as much information as you can to support your request for backdating.
In order to backdate your benefit, we must be satisfied that a reasonable person of your age, health and experience would have acted in the same way as you did.
What do I need to do next?
You must write to us and tell us why you think we should backdate your benefit, making sure your give us as much detail as possible to help us make our decision.
You should also supply any documentary evidence in support of your request, e.g. a letter from your doctor confirming that your were unable to make a claim for benefit during the entire period that you are requesting the backdate to cover.
What happens next?
Based on the information you have provided, we will decide whether or not we are able to backdate your benefit. We will write to you when we have made the decision.
What if I do not agree with your decision?
If we refuse your request, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. Please check the section 'How can I appeal?' for more information.
Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1PX
Telephone: 01285 623 035
Fax: 01285 623 904