Help & advice

This page contains information about:

Discretionary Housing Payment

Help is available to give people extra help with housing costs, this is called Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

To receive DHP you must be in receipt of Housing Benefit and have a shortfall to pay between your benefit that you receive and your rent. DHP can also provide financial assistance for housing costs, including rent deposits, rent in advance and other lump sums associated with housing, such as removal costs.

The amount of DHP awarded depends upon on your individual circumstances, and you must demonstrate that you are suffering from financial hardship due to the shortfall in your benefit.  The award is intended as a short-term measure to alleviate poverty or difficult circumstances, until a long term solution is found and should not be relied upon on an ongoing basis.

To claim DHP, you will need to complete the DHP application form.  You will be required to provide details of your current circumstances and may be required to provide reasonable evidence to support your claim e.g. evidence of outgoings or medical circumstances etc.

To view the DHP policy: DHP Policy

Appeals

If you disagree with our decision about your entitlement to Housing Benefit, you must write or email to us within 1 month of the date of your benefit decision letter.  

  • which decision(s) you are disputing
  • the grounds for your request, why you think it is wrong
  • any supporting evidence that you feel is relevant
  • the date of your appeal

We will write to you to confirm the outcome your appeal.

Backdating

Housing Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date you first contact us. It may be possible in certain circumstances to award benefit from an earlier date. This is called ‘backdating’. You can apply for backdated benefit either by;

  • completing the section in the Housing Benefit application form; or
  • in a separate letter or email to the Benefits Section.

Within your request for backdated benefit you must provide details why you did not apply earlier, at the right time. In order for backdated benefit to be awarded, you must be able to show continuous good cause for not making your claim earlier. There is no set definition of good cause, and each claim is looked at on an individual basis.

If you are under 60, backdated can be awarded for a maximum of 1 month from the date your request for backdated benefit is received. If you are over 60, as your claim will cover the 3 month period prior to you making your claim, providing you were 60 at that time and were liable for rent in respect of the address for which you are claiming benefit.

Benefit Fraud

Benefit fraud is where people claim any benefit including Housing Benefit that they are not entitled to.  Anyone who knowingly fails to declare their true circumstances when receiving benefit is committing fraud.

You can report suspected Housing Benefit fraud in three ways:

Online at - www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

By telephone - Contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Your call is free and confidential you do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm. If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.

By Post - NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston PR1 1GP

The source of the information provided is treated as confidential and if you prefer, you can provide the information anonymously, therefore you do not have to leave your name.

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