Benefit Appeals and Backdating

Rights of Appeal

When you get a notification telling you about your benefit, you can ask for:-

  • An explanation of the decision. This can be made in writing or by phone.
  • A written statement of reasons. This can help you to decide if you wish to appeal against the decision.
  • A revision of the decision. This means we will check the decision to see if all the details are correct. If any of the details are incorrect your benefit will be revised and a new notification issued to you. If the details are all correct you will also be advised that the decision cannot be changed.
  • You can appeal against the decision. This must be made in writing stating why you disagree with the decision. If after checking the claim, the decision cannot be changed, your appeal will be sent to an independent tribunal. We do not advise you to appeal as a first course of action as it is better to have the details checked first, and be given reasons for the decision if it cannot be altered.

If you disagree with our decision about your benefit.
If you want to know more about any decision made on your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support please e-mail benefits@testvalley.gov.uk, or telephone the benefits office on 01264 368000.


Backdated Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date when you contact this office. If you want benefit awarded from an earlier date you must ask for this in writing. You must tell us the dates for which you want backdated benefit and give us your reasons for not applying at the appropriate time.

We are only able to consider backdating benefits for up to three months for customers who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit. For working age customers, we are only able to consider backdating benefits for up to one month for Housing Benefit and up to six months for Council Tax Support.

There are separate rules for men of working age 61 - 64. Please contact this office for further details.

Examples of reasons which may be "good cause" for not applying at the time of need include:-

  • If you were seriously ill or in hospital and had no one to make a claim on your behalf.
  • If you were unable to manage your affairs and did not have an Appointee to deal with your affairs for you.
  • Death of a close relative
  • Being given the wrong advice by a person or organisation familiar with Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.
  • If you did not understand that you could make a claim perhaps because of age, language difficulties, difficulties in understanding technical documents or some other reason.
  • If you did not immediately claim (or reclaim) Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support after leaving hospital
  • If you could not reasonably have been expected to know your rights (e.g. where there have been detailed changes in the law)

We may ask to see documentary evidence of your reasons.

Please note that simply saying you did not know you could apply is not a good reason

Backdating on a change in circumstances
You must inform us of a change in circumstances within one calendar month of it happening.

If you have a change in your circumstances which would give you MORE benefit, and you have delayed telling us, any change will only be made from the Monday following the date that this is reported. If the change would give you LESS benefit, causing an overpayment of benefit, it will be amended from the actual change date.