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Backdating benefits is sometimes possible depending on the circumstances.

The rules about when we can backdate a benefit are different for different groups of people.

The reasons for this will be explained in our letter.

If you disagree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again, or you can appeal against it.

You can find out more about this in our universal credit section.

You do not need to tell us why you didn't claim sooner.

The date you are paid tax credits from is usually the date HMRC receive your claim form – this is your date of claim.

However, you can be paid for an earlier period in certain circumstances. The Government is gradually introducing universal credit, a new benefit which will eventually replace tax credits, and some other social security benefits.

You will only get backdating for the period you met the qualifying rules; so if you only met the rules, for example, two weeks before your date of claim, you will only get two weeks' extra money.

You should check your tax credits award notices carefully to make sure any backdating has been included properly.