Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credits Housing Element and you still cannot manage to pay your rent, you may be able to apply for extra help.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is available to help meet the shortfall between a claimants Housing Benefit or Housing Costs element of Universal Credit and their rent charge. DHP may be granted for a minimum period of one week and will not exceed one year. DHP is independent of both Housing Benefit and Universal Credit schemes but is a payment that may be made where extra financial support is needed in the short/medium term.

Discretionary Housing Payments tend to be awarded for a limited period of time to allow individuals time to consider options and make adjustments to improve their position. Payments can however be paid over an extended period of time or even for the duration of a financial year if circumstances are considered to merit the payment and the budget is available

Priority Groups

The Discretionary Housing Payment budget is limited therefore not all applications can be approved for payment. It is acknowledged that households with special circumstances will be faced with limited options to absorb or avoid reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credits Housing Element normally recommended such as finding work, increasing hours of employment or moving to smaller accommodation. The budget will be managed by prioritising applications according to agreed priorities. The DHP application form should be used to give details about any special circumstances within the household and should provide all relevant information and circumstances.

Priorities will be subject to review depending on demand on the budget.

How to Apply

The application form can be found on this page or one can be posted to you by calling 0800 013 1375.

The form should be completed detailing why additional support is required and note any exceptional circumstances for consideration. A financial statement should also be provided detailing all household income and expenditure.

If You Disagree with your Decision

There is no legislative appeals process however the Council will review a decision in the event of a dispute or where the claimant asks for a decision to be re-considered. This must be done in writing and signed by the applicant, detailing why you disagree with the decision along with any evidence supporting your request for the decision to be reviewed.


Page last updated: 15 July 2019