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Who can use this service
You can claim a DHP if:
- you are already getting Housing Benefit and you do not receive full Housing Benefit, for example, if there is a gap between the benefit you get and the rent you pay perhaps because somebody else living with you, or the benefits cap
- you need extra help to pay your rent
If you are getting Universal Credit and need help to pay your rent you can apply for a DHP too.
What we can’t pay a DHP for
We cannot pay DHP for:
- ineligible service charges such as water rates or fuel costs
- increases in your rent to cover missed payments
- any housing cost arising before 2 July 2001
Who will qualify for DHPs?
We will look at each claim individually and decide if we can pay a DHP based on the details of the claim. In all cases you must be able to show why you need extra financial help.
You should explain the reasons why you need as clearly as possible, eg if you are ill or disabled - 'Because of my illness, I need a special diet, which is very expensive.' You should tell us how much extra money you spend on any special food. You should explain the problems or difficulties your illness or disability causes and why DHPs might help.
You should send us as much proof as you can, for example, a letter from your doctor and receipts for special purchases.
If you have been affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy you may need to demonstrate you are working with your landlord to move to a suitable sized home, or tell us reasons why you can’t move to a smaller home.
We may also take into account:
- your income
- your outgoings
- your rent
- the people who live with you • your health
What you need to know...
The discretionary housing payment (DHP) scheme helps people who need more financial help with their housing costs. We can pay DHP on top of your normal Housing Benefit.
DHP is not available to help meet council tax costs anymore. DHPs are not benefits. They are separate payments the council can make at its discretion. The council has a limited amount of money to DHP so not all claims are successful.
How much DHP can you get?
The maximum amount of DHP will depend on the amount of rent you have to pay and the amount of Housing Benefit you get. It will also be affected by whether you have any deductions or pay charges which are not eligible for Housing Benefit.
If we decide to award you a DHP, we will write and tell you how much you will get and for how long.
We will then ensure you get the extra payments along with your normal Housing Benefit payments. If you are not awarded a DHP, we will also tell you the decision in writing and will give you a reason.
Telling us about a change
It is your responsibility to tell us (in writing) about any changes that might affect the amount of DHP that you get. If you fail to tell us about the change within one month, this could result in an overpayment of DHP which you may have to pay back.
What happens if you disagree with our decision?
If you disagree with our decision about your claim for a DHP, you can ask for a review. You must do this in writing and explain why you disagree. You must write within one calendar month of the date that we told you about our decision. We will look at your claim again. You will then be told of the outcome of your request for a review in writing.