Backdating housing benefit pensioners

An estimated 5 million pensioners are eligible for pension credit, a means tested benefit which tops up those on low incomes to £124.05 a week for single pensioners or £189.35 a week for couples, but because of the complex application procedures many do not claim.

Apply through your local council if you’re only making a new claim for Housing Benefit.

You can still make a new claim if you’re already getting other benefits.

If we send you an application form we will allow you one calendar month to complete and return it.

If you take longer than one calendar month to return the form you might lose your entitlement to some of your benefits.

We know from many of our members that it can be very difficult to get some of the people they work with to make a timely claim for Housing Benefit.

This might be a small minority of people, often with high level mental health problems and a mistrust of authority and services, but they are acute cases who will need support.Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, warned that, ‘many pensioners are put off claiming benefits because they find the system confusing.Pension Credit is one of the main benefits available for older people and putting in a claim can actually open the door to receiving other money benefits.’ 'We would urge any older person who finds their income stretched to see if they could claim.Contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Housing Benefit along with your application for the following benefits: You usually can’t get Universal Credit and Housing Benefit at the same time (unless you’re in certain kinds of supported housing).You can get help paying for housing with your Universal Credit payment instead. You can claim in advance by up to 13 weeks (or 17 weeks if you’re aged 60 or over), for example if you’re moving. You might also be able to get your claim backdated - ask your council.In order for a backdate of housing benefit or council tax support to be allowed you will have to show 'good cause' why you did not apply earlier.

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