When will my benefit start?
The date that your benefit claim will start on is dependant upon the date that we deem you to have made your claim, and in most cases your benefit will start from the Monday following that date. Therefore it is important that you do not delay returning your claim for benefit.
How do you decide the date that I made my claim?
Your date of claim is dependant upon five factors:
- The date you indicated that you wanted to claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit
- The date that you sent your application for benefit to us
- The income or benefits that you are in receipt of
- Your age (are you over or under 60 years old)
- The date upon which became liable to rent and/or council tax.
Based upon these factors we will determine your date of claim and then the date upon which your benefit will start. Most commonly your benefit will start from the Monday following your date of claim.
Please note you cannot claim benefit more than 13 weeks in advance of liability occurring and you will only receive benefit when you have moved in. If you are approaching your 60th birthday you can claim benefit up to 17 weeks before your 60th birthday, and if you are under 18 years old, and expecting to be become liable for Council Tax, you can claim up to 8 weeks before your 18th birthday.
Start dates of Housing and Council Tax Benefits
The start date of your Housing and Council Tax Benefit:
- Will usually be the Monday following the date we deem your claim to have been received upon (your date of claim)
- In certain circumstances your benefit may start from when you first became liable to pay rent and Council Tax at the property.
Some common examples of when benefit will start
Those on Jobseekers Allowance (income based), and Income Support:
If we receive your Housing and Council Tax Benefit claim within one month of your claim for State Benefits, your date of claim will be the first day you were entitled to that State Benefit. Accordingly your Housing and Council Tax Benefit will start from the following Monday. However if you delay sending your claim to us, and we receive it more than a month after the date you claimed these State Benefits, your date of claim will be the day we received your claim. Your Housing and Council Tax Benefit will only start from the following Monday.
People of working age and not on JSA(ib) and Income Support:
Your benefit will start from the Monday following the date upon which you claimed benefit.
Intention to claim:
If you inform the Council that you would like to claim benefit and return a claim for benefit within one month of your initial request, your date of claim will be when you first asked to claim to benefit, and your benefit will start from the following Monday.
Following bereavement or separation:
If your former partner was in receipt of benefit and you make a claim within one month of their death or your separation, your date of claim will be the date upon which the unfortunate event occurred, and your claim will start from the day after their benefit ceased.
Persons aged 60 years old or more:
If you, or your partner, are over 60 years old, entitlement to housing and council tax benefit can automatically start from three months before the date of your claim. The first day of your entitlement to benefit will then depend on:
- the date upon which you meet the conditions of entitlement to Housing and Council Tax Benefit
- the date you, or your partner, reach 60 years of age
- the date your liability for rent and/or council tax began.
Can I claim backdated benefit?
You will need to tell us why you failed to make your claim earlier and tell us the date that you would like your benefit to be backdated to. We can only backdate your claim by up to a maximum of up to six months, if you are less than 60 years old, or three months if you or your partner, are over 60 years old.
In order to allow your claim to be backdated we must be satisfied that you have shown “good cause” for having failed to claim at an earlier time, and that this “good cause” has existed throughout the period of backdating requested.
What do you mean by “Good Cause”?
We consider each request for backdating individually. You must provide as much relevant information as possible to support your request. We do not consider ignorance of the benefits to be an acceptable reason for proving “good cause”.
Some common examples of what we might deem to be “good cause” are:
- You failed to claim benefit immediately after leaving hospital
- You were ill and no-one else could make a claim on your behalf
- Your personal circumstances contributed to your failure to claim at the appropriate time – possible reasons are age, infirmity, inexperience or language difficulties
- You had recently suffered a family bereavement.
Please note that the Council may seek evidence to support your claim for backdated benefit.