Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Providing Evidence: Time Limits

One month time limit

The claimant must provide any information reasonably asked for within a calendar month of being asked to do so. (Reg 86 para 1 of the working age HB Regs 2006 / Reg 67 para 1 of the State Pension age HB Regs 2006).

HB forms will ask for the majority of information that is needed, so the calendar month will start from the date the form is received by the HB Office. If the claimant fails to provide this information within the calendar month their claim will be made defective.

If the HB Office write to the claimant requesting information which was not asked for on the form, or in response to a letter / phone call received from the claimant, the claimant has a calendar month from the date on this letter to provide this additional information.

Extending the time limit

If the claimant is having difficulty providing any information to the HB Office, they can request an extension of the calendar month to prevent their claim from being made defective

The HB Office can extend the time limit if they consider it reasonable to do so. (Reg 86 para 1 of the working age HB Regs 2006 / Reg 67 para 1 of the State Pension age HB Regs 2006). 
Standard Letters EV1 & EV1A.


Ghita made a claim for HB. She has a state pension, a works pension and some savings. The HB Office requested her latest bank statements. Ghita doesn't have these, and doesn't know how to go about asking for them - so she waits for her daughter to visit a few weeks later. If Ghita (or her daughter) explain to the HB Office the difficulties Ghita is having, the HB Office should extend the one month time limit from the date Ghita submitted her claim to provide these, otherwise she may find that her claim is made defective. 

Not provided information requested

A HB Office cannot assess a claim until all the necessary information and evidence has been provided.

If the claimant fails to provide this, the HB Office can either: 

  • Make a decision that the claim is defective and not process the claim at all, or 
  • Make an "adverse inference" - ie assumption that the claimant is not entitled (because they haven't provided evidence to the contrary). 

In the latter case the claimant can submit the evidence and ask the HB Office to revise their decision that they were not entitled.

Claim declared 'defective' due to failure to provide information within time scales

Where the HB Office have made the decision that the claim is a defective claim - the claimant will need to submit a further claim form and the information required to process this claim, but it will only be paid from the Monday after this further 2nd claim has been submitted.

To try to get the 'missing' HB, the claimant can: 

  • Request that the second claim is backdated, and /or
  • Challenge the fact that the first claim was defective. For example it will not be 'defective' if the missing information was not originally requested on the claim form - follow the link for more information and a standard letter.


If Ghita (from the example above) failed to request an extension of the time limit to provide the information requested and also failed to provide that information ie. her bank statement/s within a calendar month of submitting the HB claim, then the HB Office will deem her claim to be defective. As Ghita is State Pension age she can submit a further HB claim and this should automatically be backdated up to 3 months.

If Ghita was hoping for a three month backdate from her original 'defective' claim date, then it is worth her looking into whether she can challenge the 'defective' decision on that claim as well.

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