Discretionary Housing Payment
The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme is available to give people extra help with housing costs.
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.
However, DHP cannot be awarded for any of the following:
- Any rent that needs to be paid if only Council Tax Support has been awarded.
- Ineligible services e.g. utility charges (water /gas/electricity) or support charges that are included in the rent.
- Sanctions and reductions in Department for Work and Pensions benefits.
- Amounts being repaid for overpayments of housing benefit.
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 benefits. 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.
HOW DO I APPLY?
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.
In deciding whether to award a DHP, the following will be taken into account:
- The amount of shortfall between housing benefit and the relevant liability.
- Any steps that have been taken to reduce the rental liability.
- The financial circumstances of the claimant, their partner, any dependants and anyone else living in the household.
- The income and reasonable expenditure of the household.
- Any savings or capital.
- Any income that may be disregarded in the housing benefit calculation.
- That all other benefits have been claimed and are being paid at the appropriate rate.
- The medical circumstances of the claimant, their partner, any dependants and anyone else living in the household.
Special circumstances may be taken into account that contribute to your financial difficulties for example:
- You have to pay child maintenance.
- You have to pay legal costs.
- You or a member of your household have extra heating costs because you or a member of your household spend a lot of time at home because of sickness or disability.
Each case will be treated strictly on its own merits.
Any award may be an amount below the difference between the liability and the payment of housing benefit as we may expect you to pay a proportion of the shortfall yourself. Any award of DHP that is for a set period e.g. 8 weeks does not guarantee that a further award will be made at a later date even if your circumstances do not change.
WHAT DO I DO IF I DISAGREE WITH YOUR DECISION?
Although there a no appeal rights against the decision not to award a DHP you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.
If you request a review someone who was not involved with the original decision will carry this out.
To do this you must write to the Benefits Department within one calendar month of the date of the decision letter, providing additional information that you feel may help your application. We will look again at your claim and write to you with the outcome.
DHP application form