Discretionary Housing Payments

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Information about how you can apply for help with your rent if you are already entitled to benefit but do not receive the full amount of eligible rent.

Discretionary Housing Payments

A Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) may be made when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not provide enough money to pay the rent. DHPs are not part of the normal Housing Benefit or Universal Credit schemes but are payments that may be made where extra financial support is needed.

Who can claim it?

If you do not qualify for/receive Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit then you won't be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. To qualify you must be entitled to some Housing Benefit or Housing Element of Universal Credit, but if you get full benefit then you will not receive any more help.

You can claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment by:

  • Writing to us
  • Calling into our office
  • Asking us to visit you if you are unwell or unable to leave the house
  • Getting independent advice and help from various agencies.

We will ask you to complete a separate form.

What information we need to know:

You must tell us why you think you need extra help to meet your housing costs, please include information such as:

  • Any disabilities or illnesses you or a member of your family may have
  • How your disability or illness may affect you financially (for example, extra costs) or prevent you from moving
  • Income and spending, including debts
  • Any change in your circumstances which makes it more difficult for you to meet the shortfall
  • What would happen if you lost your home; or
  • Any other special circumstances

We may ask to see any reasonable evidence to support your claim. Please give us all the information which will help your case.

How is it assessed?

We will look at your claim to see if we can make a payment. We look at each case individually based on each person's circumstances. We will write to you to tell you whether or not your claim has been successful.

We will tell you how much you will get and how long it will last for. We can only make the payment for a set period, but you can reapply when the payment stops.

How will it be paid?

We will pay it with your Housing Benefit if you receive it or via a separate payment if you are in receipt of Universal Credit. This may be to you or to your landlord.

What if you disagree with our decision?

You do not have any right of appeal if we turn down your claim but you can ask us to look at the decision again. This is called a review.

Changes you must tell us about

You must tell us about anything you think might affect your entitlement to Discretionary Housing Payments or your entitlement to Housing Benefit. You must do this within 1 month of the change taking place. You must tell us about any changes in writing - a telephone call is not enough.

Published: 16 May 2012 - 9:45am