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Discretionary Housing Payments

Last updated 31 March 2014

The Council has been given extra money by the Government which allows us to top up payments of Housing Benefit where we believe a person needs additional help with housing costs. This is known as the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme.

To find out if you're entitled to this help, you will need to apply. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, so it's worth taking the time to complete an application form .

The budget is limited so payments must, in effect, be rationed and it will probably only last for a limited period of time.

How do I claim a DHP?

The quickest and easiest way is to apply online. Go to DHP application form online

It is important that you provide as much information as possible when you make your claim. If you do not, we may have to refuse to make an award.

How do I claim a Discretionary reduction for Council Tax?

You can no longer claim a DHP for help with your Council Tax although you may be able to claim a discretionary reduction. You must complete an application form to claim this help.

Please see Council tax discounts, exemptions and reductions for more details.

How will I be paid?

DHPs are usually paid as an addition to your regular Housing Benefit payments although we do sometimes make a single one-off payment where this is appropriate.

DHP awards are usually only made for a limited period. This is to give you time
to find suitable cheaper accommodation or to find another way of meeting your housing costs. We will tell you how long any award is for when we write to you to tell you about your application.

How much can I get?

The total of your benefit plus discretionary housing payment (DHP) may not exceed your contractual rent.

This means that the most we can pay is the shortfall between your housing benefit and your contractual rent.

However, it is unlikely that any award will cover all of the shortfall. We generally
expect people who are awarded a DHP to pay at least £5.00 a week towards the difference between their housing costs and their total benefit entitlement.

Not enough benefit?

If you do not agree with our decision, for example if you think you are entitled
to benefit and we have said you are not, or if you think you should get more benefit because we have made a mistake, you can:

  • Ask for an explanation of how we made our decision or calculated your benefit
  • Ask us to look at our decision again
  • Or you can appeal

Frequently asked questions?

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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See also

Contact details