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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the information you want in our service pages, you may be able to find it on this main FAQ page.
After looking at the statistics of how users browse our site we have now focused on the most used services as priority, many hundreds of information pages on our site that were accessed rarely or sometimes not at all have now been removed to de-clutter and make our site easier to use.

However we still accept that some information is desirable to help our users better understand aspects of how Carlisle City Council services work, so we provide FAQ lists on most our section landing pages.
All FAQs including any FAQ that does not fit in any of our our site sections are accessible here in the master FAQ page.

Master FAQ ( select a category or search for answers )

When does my claim start from?

Normally your Benefit starts from the Monday after your claim is received by either The Job Centre or the Benefits Office.

In special circumstances, we may be able to backdate your claim. This means that we can pay you benefit from an earlier date than the date you have put your claim form in.

To qualify for backdating, you must be able to show that:

  • You had a good reason for not claiming benefit earlier; and
  • Your reason or reasons for not claiming earlier lasted until you actually made your claim (for example, if you were in hospital and made a claim as soon as possible after leaving hospital, we would treat this as continuous good cause)

We will usually need to see proof of the things you tell us about. For example, in the situation above, we would need to see a letter from the hospital or your doctor confirming your illness and the length of time you were in hospital.

By law, we can only backdate a standard Council Tax Reduction Scheme claim for up to 6 months from the date we receive your request for backdating. You must clearly give the period you would like us to consider backdating your claim to cover.

If you have reached the age for eligibility for state pension credit we can only backdate 3 months. However men aged between 60 and 64 who are in receipt of Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) or their partner is can have their claim backdated 6 months. If they are in receipt of Pension Credit it can only be backdated 3 months.

Your request must be in writing and this can be done either by:

  • Filling in the section on the claim form that has the heading 'Backdating'
  • Writing to us
  • By calling into the office where you can get help to write a request for backdating. You must tell us what to write and we can write it for you.
  • Getting independent advice and help from various agencies.

Once we receive your request to backdate your claim we:

  • Will make a decision as soon as possible
  • Notify you of our decision
  • Give you your appeal rights when we notify you

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