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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Discretionary Housing Payments

What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are a top-up to Housing Benefit and the Housing Element within your Universal Credit award, and are available if we consider that someone needs extra help with their housing costs. Any payment awarded is made in addition to any Housing Benefit and Housing Element that has been awarded. We only have a certain amount of money to spend on these payments, so the application form will help us to decide if a DHP can be made to you.

Discretionary Housing Payments are only available as short-term assistance, not a long-term solution.

What can Discretionary Housing Payments cover?

Discretionary Housing Payments can cover:

  • a shortfall between your Housing Benefit or Housing Element award and your rent

Discretionary Housing payments cannot cover:

  • increases in rent due to rent arrears
  • any shortfall between your Council Tax Support and your Council Tax liability
  • benefit that has been suspended because you have failed to supply the information necessary for your claim
  • any reduction in benefit as a result of non-attendance at a work-focused interview, a Job Seekers Allowance employment sanction or failure to comply with the Child Support Agency in arranging maintenance
  • charges for water and sewerage.

Who can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment?

To be eligible for a DHP, you must be receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Element within your Universal Credit award, and you must satisfy us that you require further help with your housing costs, by providing proof of your income and expenditure.

You cannot apply if you do not receive Housing Benefit or the Housing Element. Please note that if you are getting Council Tax Support but do not get Housing Benefit or receive the Housing Element you will not be able to get assistance with your rent costs. You will not be able to get a DHP if you are already getting full benefit.

How can I apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment online by completing the Customer Referral form that is available on our 'Food Bank, discretionary housing payments, income and expenditure assessment' page.

Funds for DHPs are limited, so not all applications will be successful. If the application is from someone acting on your behalf, please make this clear on the form.

Last updated Monday, 1st February 2021

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