What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

The Government provides a limited amount of money for Discretionary Housing Payments every year and this money can be used to help people with their rent.

Am I eligible?

You must be in receipt of some Housing Benefit or housing costs in Universal Credit and:

  • there must be a shortfall between your Housing Benefit, or housing costs in Universal Credit and your rent and;
  • the amount of Discretionary Housing Payment paid, when added to your Housing Benefit entitlement, or housing costs in Universal Credit must not be more than your rent and;
  • you cannot afford to pay the shortfall out of your existing budget

How can I apply?

The Discretionary Housing Payment application form is available from our website.

You will need to put as much information as you have to support your application, and give all the reasons why you need extra help to pay your rent and why you cannot manage.

What information do I need to provide?

It is important you give all the expenses, outgoings you and your household have to pay each week.

If you or a member of your family is receiving a disability income, it is important to give details of any additional care costs. For example:

  • disability related travel costs
  • items needed to help manage the disability
  • payment for carers
  • special dietary requirements

You should also tell us if the property has been adapted to meet you or a family members disability.

How will it be paid?

A Discretionary Housing Payment award will be paid with your Housing Benefit. If you are receiving Universal Credit , your Discretionary Housing Payment can be paid to either you or your landlord depending on the circumstances. The length of the Discretionary Housing Payment award will be decided from the information you supply and will vary according to your circumstances. It is usually made for a fixed period, after which you will have to apply again. If you do reapply there is no guarantee that you will get any further payment.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. Each case is looked at individually and is paid for different periods of time. However, there is no guarantee that you will actually get a payment.

What happens if I have a change in my circumstances?

You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances straight away. This includes any change in the amount of rent you have to pay or a change in your income, savings or if anyone leaves or joins your household.

Your Discretionary Housing Payment will be looked at again to see if there is a change to the award. If you do not tell us of a change in your circumstances, or you have given incorrect information which affects the amount of your Discretionary Housing Payment award, you may be overpaid and be asked to pay some or all of the overpayment back.

What should I do if I disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with our decision about your Discretionary Housing Payment application you can ask us to look at it again. This must be done in writing within one month of the decision letter, telling us why you do not agree. You do not have a right of appeal to the Tribunals Service.