Extra help with housing costs
If you need extra financial help with your housing costs you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
DHPs are not part of the Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit Schemes. The Government gives us a limited amount of money each year to fund the DHP scheme, which means you may not be guaranteed to receive extra help.
Who can apply for a DHP?
You can apply if the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you get is less than the rent or Council Tax you have to pay.
You cannot apply for DHP to help pay the following:
- Service charges within the rent charge that are not covered by the benefit scheme - such as heating, lighting, hot water, and other fuel costs or water rates, sewerage or other environmental costs,
- Rent or Council Tax arrears,
- Deductions from any benefit as a result of sanctions to Jobseekers Allowance, Child Support or other benefit related offences,
- Suspended payments of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit,
- Council Tax Benefit if you only receive Housing Benefit or Housing Benefit where you only receive Council Tax Benefit.
How does the Benefits Team decide if I can have a DHP?
We have a panel of Senior Officers who consider all the facts of your case. The panel will consider the following when deciding if you are entitled to extra help through the DHP scheme:
- The facts or each case,
- What makes your circumstances different, exceptional or critical,
- Whether a payment will provide real help to your situation,
- How long you need the help for and whether there are other ways to help your financial situation.
How much will I get and for how long?
The award of a DHP is meant to be a short term solution to help you find cheaper accommodation or look at ways of improving and managing your finances.
How much you get depends on the circumstances of your household. We consider each case on an individual basis so the amount you get and the length of time you receive it may be different for each person. There is no guarantee you will receive any extra help through the DHP scheme.
How is DHP paid?
Even though DHP is not a payment of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, we will make a payment with your Housing Benefit or as a rebate to your Council Tax account.
What if I disagree with the Benefits Team's decision?
If you are unhappy with our decision, you must write to us within a month and we will reconsider our decision, a different officer will consider the appeal.
If you are still unhappy with our decision, you must let us know in writing and your case will be passed to the Operational Manager for Benefits for consideration, this decision will be final.
If you would like to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, you can apply online.