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Can you back date my claim?

Normally your benefits will start from the Monday after we receive your completed form. We may be able to pay benefit from an earlier date if you can show there was good cause for a delay in making your claim, throughout the whole period you would like it to be backdated.

Find out how to backdate your claim using the links below:

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What is good cause?

Good cause is any reason or combination of circumstances that would have stopped you from making a claim earlier.

Examples of good cause are:

  • Death of a relative.
  • You or a member of your household were in hospital.
  • There were good reasons for you not believing you could claim, amounting to more than just not thinking or not caring.
  • Some external factor prevented you from making a claim, such as failure of the postal service or imprisonment.

We will usually need to see proof of the things you tell us about. For example, if you were in hospital, we would need to see a letter from the hospital or your doctor confirming your illness and the length of time you were in hospital.

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How far can you backdate my claim?

By law, we can only backdate housing benefit for a person of working age for up to one month from the date we receive your request for backdating, providing you can demonstrate continuous good cause throughout the whole period. You must clearly state the period you would like us to consider backdating and the reasons that prevented you from making an earlier claim.

The council tax support scheme allows an application for a person of working age to be backdated for up to six calendar months, providing you can demonstrate continuous good cause throughout the whole period.

If you have reached the age for eligibility for state pension credit, we can only backdate three months. However, if you are a man aged between 60 and 64 who receives Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (income based), or your partner is, you may be able to have your claim backdated six months. If you receive Pension Credit your claim can only be backdated three months.

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How to claim backdated benefit?

If you would like to request a backdate of benefit, please write to or email our benefits section, giving the date that you would like your claim backdated to and describe all the circumstances that prevented you from claiming:

Revenues and Benefits Services
Lichfield District Council
District Council House
Frog Lane
Staffordshire WS13 6YX


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How do we assess claims?

We consider each request on its own merits and the more information you can provide, the better.  Any supporting evidence that you have should also be provided to support your request.

A benefits assessment officer will look at your request and then write to you with their decision. We may ask for more evidence or information if it is needed prior to making a decision. 

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Can I appeal a decision?

If you disagree with our decision regarding your backdated benefit claim, you can:

  • ask for an explanation
  • ask us to look at it again (a different officer would do this)
  • appeal against the decision. Any appeal would be heard by the Appeals Service.

For more information about the above please see disputes and appeals.

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Any questions?

If you have any questions, please email our benefits team at or call our team on 01543 308900.

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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.