Guidelines for extended or backdated benefits
A move from housing benefit to universal credit
We will give claimants two weeks’ extra housing benefit once we know when they were moved onto universal credit.
Extended payments for people about to start work
Extended payments are designed to help long-term unemployed people who are returning to work. They provide up to four extra weeks’ housing benefit, local housing allowance, or council tax benefit.
Criteria for extended benefits
You will be entitled to an extended payment if all of the following apply:
- you or your partner starts employment or self-employment, or increase your hours or earnings
- the change is expected to last for at least five weeks
- you or your partner have been entitled to jobseekers allowance or income support or a combination of the two continuously for at least 26 weeks
Alternatively, you will be entitled to an extended payment if all of the following apply:
- you or your partner have been entitled to incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance or a combination continuously for at least 26 weeks without pension credit
- entitlement to any of these benefits ceases after starting work or increasing work hours
- you or your partner remain liable for rent and/or council reduction at the same or a new address
Claim extended benefits
You must tell us within four weeks of starting work or increasing your hours if you think you are entitled to an extended payment. Otherwise, you will not qualify. You can let us know by telephone or in person, but we recommend you follow up with written confirmation. See our contact details at the bottom of this page.
Successful extended benefit claims
If you are successful, we will amend your benefit claim. It will continue for up to four weeks from the Monday after your income support, jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance stopped.
You will be paid at the rate you are already receiving, and your claim will be cancelled after the extended payment period.
To keep claiming housing benefit, local housing allowance or council tax reduction after the extended payment period, you must complete a new in-work claim. You will be assessed on your new income details.
A definition of backdated benefits
Backdated benefit is housing benefit or a council tax reduction paid for a period which occurred before we got your claim form.
How we decide whether to backdate or not
You must show that you had a good reason not to claim housing benefit, local housing allowance or council tax reduction at the time. The reason for not claiming must have lasted for the entire period you want us to backdate your claim.
Examples of good reasons
There could be one or more reasons why you were unable to claim. Some might be that you:
- have been seriously ill or in hospital
- have been out of the country for a long time and did not know you could claim
- have problems with English and no-one to help you claim
- were given incorrect advice at a Jobcentre Plus
Reasons like these could help you get backdated benefit. However we have to look at each claim on its own merit, and take everything into consideration.
How you will know if your claim has been backdated
We will write to you when we have decided whether or not to backdate your claim. If we backdate your claim, the letter will state when we are backdating to, how much you will get, and how it will be paid. If we do not backdate your claim, the letter will note why not, and what you can do if you are unhappy with our decision.
Request backdated benefit
Your request must be in writing. It must include as much detail as possible, and you should provide any evidence you may have to support it. If we do not have enough information to decide, we may ask you to come into the office to see one of our officers.