Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are normally awarded from the Monday after you submit your claim. If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you applying for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' so that it starts from an earlier date.

Backdating for claimants under 60 years of age

If you qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction (or both), your entitlement will normally be awarded from the Monday after you requested the application form (as long as you return the form within one calendar month).

In some cases the start date of your claim can be backdated for up to one month prior to your claim date. Before a backdating award can be considered you must be able to prove good cause and show why you did not claim earlier.

Backdating for claimants aged 60 years and over

If you or your partner, are aged 60 or over, and you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction (or both), your claim will automatically be considered for backdating to an earlier date.

Backdating may apply: 

  • for up to 3 months before the date your claim is received
  • the date you become responsible for paying rent or council tax, if this is later
  • or, where applicable back to you or your partner's 60th birthday

You may be asked to provide proof of your income, savings and rent (if you pay rent) for the backdated period.

What is meant by good cause

Each case will be assessed individually. Good cause is a reason that prevented you from not applying earlier. The following list shows examples of what is meant by good cause: 

  • You were ill and no one else could claim on your behalf
  • You were awaiting a decision about another benefit
  • You received wrong advice
  • You did not claim immediately after leaving the hospital, prison or long term care
  • A bereavement
  • You were unable to manage your own affairs and you had no one to help you

These examples are only a guide to help you. They are not a full list of all possible reasons.

If you forget to claim, or did not know you could claim, this would not be a good reason on its own. To qualify for backdating, you must be able to prove you had good cause for the period you are claiming.

What happens if my backdating claim is successful?

If your request has been successful you will be informed by letter.

What happens if my backdating claim is unsuccessful and I do not agree with the decision?

If your request has been unsuccessful you will be informed by letter. If you disagree with this decision you should contact Aberdeenshire Council's Support and Advice Team within one month of the date of the letter stating the reason(s) why you disagree.

Apply for backdating

You can email us at or telephone 03456 08 12 00.