Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If your payment date is on a weekend or a bank holiday you’ll usually be paid on the working day before. How and when you are paid may vary for different types of benefits and support.

Council tax support

If you are awarded council tax support, this will be automatically credited to your council tax account.

Housing benefit

If your landlord is a housing association then you will have the choice of having your housing benefit paid to yourself or your landlord. We pay by bank transfer (BACS), so you will need to provide your bank details if you would like us to pay you the housing benefit.

If your landlord is a private landlord, under the local housing allowance scheme we will normally make payment to you by BACS. You will need to provide your bank details so we can pay your benefit directly. If you feel you would not be able to cope with receiving the benefit payments then please read our information on safeguarding.

If payment is made to you, then you will be paid fortnightly in arrears.

If payment is made to your landlord, then they will be paid monthly in arrears.

When will payments start?

Benefit payments usually start from the Monday following the date we receive a recognised application form. Sometimes your claim can run from an earlier date if you can show that you had a good reason for failing to submit the form (for example, you were in hospital at the time). This is called backdating (see below).

Under housing benefit and council tax support law you must make your claim for benefit in writing, either on a benefit/support application form or by letter.

Normally we will start your claim from the Monday after we receive your application form or letter. It is therefore very important that you get your application form or letter to us as soon as possible because it affects the date your benefit claim will start from.

If you have contacted us for an application form you will have one month to return the form and evidence to us.

Backdating payments

If you are of 'pensionable age' we can go back three months from your date of claim. We should do this automatically but we may need to ask you for earlier income or savings details. 

If you are 'working age' - and there is a reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier, you can ask for backdated benefits.