Council Tax Support Consultation

Have your say on proposals for the Council Tax Support scheme for working age residents in Torbay. The consultation is open until 11 October 2019 and there is a public event being held at Paignton Library on the 11 September 2019 for people to find out more about the proposals. Take part in the consultation >>

The current processing time for new applications and changes to benefit claims is an average of 6 weeks.

If you contact us with a general enquiry online we will reply to you within two working days.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you meet one of the following criteria: 

  • You are single and of state pension credit qualifying age, or
    Part of a couple and are both of state pension credit qualifying age, or
    Part of a couple and been continuously receiving Pension Credit since at least 14/05/19
    You can find your Pension Credit qualifying age using Check your State Pension age  Opens in a new window
  • Qualify for the severe disability premium  Opens in a new window and receiving Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or Housing Benefit or one of these benefits has ended in the last month
  • Live in supported accommodation
  • Have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Local Authority

If not you need to claim Universal Credit  Opens in a new window  for help with paying your rent.

A claim will usually start from the Monday after we receive the application form, so it is important that you submit your application as soon as possible.

Sometimes we may pay Housing Benefit from an earlier date, this is called backdating.

Backdating Housing Benefit

For working age claims the maximum time which a claim can be considered for backdating is one month.

If you or your partner are pension age then your claim can be backdated for up to three months. 

How to ask us to backdate your claim

There are two ways to ask us to backdate a claim:

  • If you are making your claim you should fill in the backdating section on the claim form
  • If you are already claiming you should use our online form and tell us why you didn’t claim Housing Benefit sooner

We can only backdate your claim if you can prove that there is ‘good cause’ why you were unable to apply sooner.

What is 'good cause'?

You will be expected to show that you had good reasons (‘good cause’) throughout the whole time you didn’t for not claiming sooner.

If you forgot to claim or did not know you could claim this would not be a good reason on its own.

Some examples of ‘good cause’:

  • You were so ill that you could not make a claim or ask someone else to claim on your behalf
  • You were given bad or wrong advice by someone who should have given you correct information, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the council or an advice agency
  • You did not understand that you could claim, perhaps because of age, inexperience or language difficulties
  • You had a family bereavement
  • There was something over which you had no control that prevented you from making a claim

You must explain your reasons fully and give us evidence to support what you tell us. You can submit your evidence electronically with your request for backdating.

  Ask us to backdate your claim