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Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) is a benefit that you might get if there is a difference between the amount you receive in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and how much your rent is. It can also be for help towards housing costs, such as the costs of moving home.

How do I apply?

You can apply by completing the DHP application form below. 

Discretionary Housing Payment application form (PDF, 149KB)

If you would like help to complete your form you can call into any of the main council offices or you can request a home visit.

What happens next?

We will let you know in the quickest and most suitable way. You will also receive a letter with the outcome. If your application is successful, we will usually pay you any continuing award of DHP.

How its worked out

All awards are based on your income and outgoings and any savings you might have. We also might include income which we would normally ignore in your Housing Benefit calculation.

We look at things like:

  • your total income
  • if you have any savings
  • if there is anyone else in the house that can help financially
  • if you have any loans or debts still to pay
  • if you could rearrange your finances to improve the situation
  • if you or your family have any special circumstances, such as ill health or disability

Maximum payments and awards

The amount and the duration of an award will be decided on a case by case basis. It will also depend on how much of the budget is available. Awards will only normally be made for a short period of time to give you time to make longer term changes. Priority will be given if you have long term plans to improve your situation and the payment will help in the short term. The maximum amount which can be considered is the shortfall between your Housing Benefit award and your rental liability. 

What you can do if you don't agree with our decision

The scheme is discretionary and there is no law giving the right to appeal. You may request a review if you disagree. It must be made in writing within one calendar month. It needs to include details of why you think that the decision should be revised. 

You can't ask for a review if the reason is because:

  • the DHP fund budget is used up. Funds are monitored and requests will be declined if the limit is reached.
  • you do not meet the eligibility criteria

The request will be reviewed by a more senior officer who will tell you the outcome of the review in writing, usually within one calendar month of the request being received.

The decision is final and binding although any complaints regarding the way the application process has been dealt with should be made in writing to our corporate complaints team.

Submit a comment, compliment or complaint

Change in circumstances

If you have a change in circumstances you need to tell us straight away. These may affect the amount of the award or the amount you receive in other benefits or Council Tax discounts.

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