Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to an additional Discretionary Housing Payment on top of your normal Housing Benefit. This payment is not a benefit and there is no automatic right to receive it.
Discretionary Housing Payments can only be paid to people who are already receiving some Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay their rent. If you are getting enough help to pay your rent, you will not entitled to any extra help. Discretionary Housing Payments cannot be awarded to help you pay for non-rent charges like water rates and service charges.
If you make a claim for a Discretionary Housing Paymen you will need to explain why you think you need extra help with your rent. You must show us that you or your family will suffer hardship if you do not get this extra help. We will also ask you to explain what other action you are taking to prevent you or your family suffering hardship. For example, if you are paying a high rent or you have extra bedrooms you do not need, you will be expected to look for a cheaper or smaller place to live.
Our Discretionary Housing Payments Policy 2014(pdf, 101KB) gives more information.
There is no fixed rate. We will decide the level of payment when we are looking at an individual claim.
The Government has set a limit on the total amount the Council can spend on Discretionary Housing Payments. When we receive a claim we have to think about how much money is available and how many people in this borough may need extra help.
A Discretionary Housing Payment is paid for a limited period of time to give you the chance to find other ways of reducing your housing costs.
You must answer all of the questions on the form that apply to you. It is important that you give us as much information and evidence as possible to support your claim. For example if you or a member of your family suffers from ill health you will need to provide a supporting letter from your doctor or health worker.
The DHP form guidance notes(pdf, 24KB) for the form are also available. It is important that you read them.
We will look at your claim and consider all of the information and evidence you have provided. We will then write and tell you what our decision is. If you disagree with our decision you can ask us to look at your claim again.
Updated: 24 October 2014