Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Council Tax Reduction - backdating an application

This advice applies to England

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called Council Tax Reduction (CTR).

In some cases, you can ask for your CTR to be backdated to a date before you sent in your application form. This applies to both pensioners and people of working age.

Read this page to find out more about backdating an application for CTR.

You send in your application form after telling the local authority you want to apply

You can tell the local authority you want to apply for CTR before you fill in an application form – for example, on the phone or in person. You can then ask the local authority to backdate your claim to when you first told them you wanted to apply. However, you must send them a properly completed application form within one month of the date you told them you want to apply.

If you're on benefits

If you or your partner are on benefits, you can ask for your CTR to be backdated to the date when your benefit was awarded. You can do this as long as you claim CTR within one month after your benefits were awarded.

This only applies to the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Pension Credit which includes the guarantee credit
  • Universal Credit

If you claim JSA or ESA, there may be waiting days before your benefit starts being paid. However, you can get CTR during the waiting days.

If you start a claim for Universal Credit, the online application will ask you whether you claim or intend to claim CTR. This information could be used when backdating your CTR claim. 

If you become responsible for paying council tax for the first time on a property

You or your partner may be on benefits but not be responsible for paying council tax. If you later become responsible for paying council tax, for example because you take over a tenancy, you can apply for CTR and ask for it to be backdated to the date you first became responsible. You can do this as long as you apply for CTR within one month of becoming responsible for paying council tax.

If you separate from your partner or your partner dies

If you have separated from a partner who received CTR or if your partner has died, you can apply for CTR in your own right. If you do this within one month of the date you separated or your partner died, your CTR should be backdated to that date.

Pensioners

If you're a pensioner and you're entitled to CTR, you can ask for your application to be backdated for up to three months. You don't have to give a reason for wanting your application backdated.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?
Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.