Housing benefit and council tax reduction can be backdated for up to a month from the request date, and for a period not previously applied for if you're of working age, or for a period of up to three months if you're of pension age.
But you must prove that there was a good reason why you didn't apply for benefit at the time for it to be awarded.
You must also prove that the reason for not claiming continued throughout this period.
Some examples of good reasons are if you:
- Were too ill to make a claim and no-one was available to make the claim on your behalf
- Didn't understand that you could claim because of age, language difficulties, difficulty in understanding technical documents or some other reasons
- Were wrongly advised that you weren't entitled to housing benefit/council tax reduction
- Were unable to manage your own affairs and didn't have an appointee