Discretionary housing payments

We are currently dealing with Discretionary Housing Payment applications received from 24 April 2024.

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an extra amount of money that the council can give you to help you pay your rent.

DHPs are not benefits. No one has an automatic right to payment. They are awarded at the discretion of the council. The details below explain when a DHP may be awarded.

Can I get a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You must be receiving either housing benefit and/or Universal Credit in the benefit week that a DHP is awarded for. Recipients of Universal Credit, who claim a DHP, must have a rental liability and be eligible for housing costs within their award.

They cannot be awarded to help you pay for non-rent charges like water rates and service charges.

How much will I get?

There is no fixed rate for a DHP. The level of payment is something we will decide when we are looking at an individual claim.

The government has a set limit on the total amount the council can spend on DHPs. When we receive a claim we have to think about how much money is available and how many people in the borough may need extra help.

A DHP is paid for a limited period of time to give people the chance to find other ways of reducing their housing costs.

How we award a Discretionary Housing Payment

In deciding whether to award a DHP, the following will be taken into account:

  • The financial and medical circumstances of the claimant, their partner and any dependants and any other occupants of the claimant's home
  • The income and expenditure of the claimant, their partner and any dependants or other occupants of the claimant's home
  • The current Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate applicable to the contractual rent
  • The level of debt that the family has and any arrangements they have made to reduce it
  • If there are special circumstances that apply to them or their family
  • Any steps taken by the claimant to reduce the rent eg negotiations with their landlord
  • What steps the tenant has made to find cheaper accommodation eg are they on the waiting list for other accommodation providers
  • The amount of DHP left in the budget

A decision is based using the above mentioned circumstances. Should a DHP be awarded, it will be seen as a short term solution to alleviate poverty and hardship and to give a claimant an opportunity to change their circumstance eg to find cheaper accommodation.

The award of a DHP as such does not guarantee that a further award will be made at a later date even if the claimant's circumstances have not changed.

Claiming a DHP online

The form should take around 20-30 minutes to complete.

The form can be completed by a claimant or by someone on behalf of the claimant. Should a form be completed on behalf of a claimant, the person completing a form will be required to sign a declaration in relation to this.

Claiming online speeds up the process and provides a quicker, easier and better service.

Before you start an application

You will need the following details below:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your bank sort code and account number (please note that where housing benefit is in payment, any DHP awarded will be paid to the same person that housing benefit is paid to)
  • Details of your income
  • Details of your expenditure
  • Your last 2 months bank and/or building society statements for all accounts held by you and/or your partner

You must allow pop-ups in order to complete the form.

This form is not supported by Internet Explorer 11. Please use a different browser.

Start your online DHP application

Tips for completing the form

Claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit

In relation to housing benefit or Universal Credit, please ensure that you tick the relevant box on page 7 of the application (even if you have recently claimed either), otherwise your application may be invalid and you may have to complete another form online.

Pop ups

Depending on your setting on your computer, you might receive a system ‘pop up’ message which prevents you from completing the application. If you do get a ‘pop up’, then please select ‘Always Allow’ to continue.

How do I save and retrieve an incomplete claim?

If you want to exit the application without submitting your claim you can select the ‘Save and Exit’ option at the bottom of the form. You will be given a online key on-screen which you will need to re-submit the application.

To access your partially completed form again, click on ‘Start your online application’. Then click on ‘Return to a saved application’.

You will be asked to provide the applicants surname, National Insurance number, postcode and the online key.

Please remember the online key is case sensitive.

Partially completed applications are only stored for 14 days (from the initial date they are started and saved); any left incomplete will be cleared from our system and you will need to start again from the beginning.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 9 July 2024

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