Housing Benefit - Entitlement

Your Benefit Entitlement

Once your entitlement to Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support has been calculated, you will receive your award notification by post. For information on how your claim has been calculated, please see the How is my benefit calculated section. You can also view our guide on understanding your benefit award notification.

Your notification award letter will advise you of when you will be due your Housing Benefit payment. It is normally paid two weeks in arrears to the tenant via their bank account, or four weekly in arrears if paid to the Landlord/Housing Association. View details of the Housing Benefit payments for 2021/2022.

It is our policy to pay all Housing Benefit into a bank account. If you need help or information on opening a basic bank account please visit Citizens Advice.

If your circumstances change, you will need to tell us. There are different changes in circumstances you need to report.

Backdating a Claim

Your claim for Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support may be backdated in some circumstances. Your claim should be in writing and include a statement of reason. The maximum time we can backdate is one month for working age claimants and three months for pension age claimants. This is from the date your claim for backdating was actually made.

You must show there was ‘good cause’ for not making an earlier claim throughout the whole of any period. For example each and every day you want backdated, up to the date your claim for backdating was made. 

Good cause criteria

Good causes may include the following, depending on the circumstances:
  • You were ill and no-one else could claim for you.
  • You were given the wrong advice by an official organisation who said you were not entitled to housing benefit or local council tax support (or both). 
  • You did not claim immediately after leaving hospital, prison or long-term care (further information may be requested form you).
  • You were not able to manage your own affairs and had no-one to help you.
  • A close relative died.

These examples are only a guide to help you. They are not a full list of all possible reasons and may not be acceptable if not proven. If you forgot to claim, or did not know you could claim, this would not be a good reason on its own. To qualify for backdated benefit, you must be able to prove you had ‘good cause’ and why you did not claim earlier (supporting evidence may be required).