Discretionary housing payments

Apply for a discretionary housing or exceptional hardship payments

We can make a Discretionary Housing Payment in special circumstances to give you extra help with your rent or Council Tax or both. 

These payments are not designed to be a source of long-term income and it is important to us that we help you to avoid needing this payment in the future. Therefore, the vast majority of awards will be for a limited period only.

When we award a DHP, we expect you to take some actions to help to improve your situation with our support and will talk to you about what these actions could be. This could include finding work, debt advice, or finding more affordable accommodation.

We treat every claim individually. The overall amount of extra payment is restricted by government limits.

When can a Discretionary Housing Payment be made  

We can only consider making a Discretionary Housing Payment if one of the following applies:

  • You are receiving Housing Benefit
  • You are receiving a payment of Universal Credit with housing costs

And

  • The benefit you receive does not cover your rent and in full

We can only consider the Discretionary Housing Payment if your circumstances justify extra financial help.

What we are unlikely to pay for

  • Shortfalls caused by a non-dependent deduction 
  • Where Capital is in excess of £1,000
  • Where the tenancy was not affordable when it was taken on
  • Where the rent charged is of such an amount that the tenancy would still be unsustainable even if realistic steps to improve the household situation were achieved
  • Where there is affordable and suitable, alternative accommodation available
  • Where applicants are not prepared to take steps to reduce or remove their need for DHP
  • Where fraud has been admitted or proven in relation to claims for Housing Benefit (HB), Universal Credit (UC), Council Tax Reduction (CTR) or Discretionary Housing Payments 
  • Where the applicant has a credit of more than £100 on their rent account.

 

How to make a claim

Apply for a discretionary housing or exceptional hardship payments online, or alternatively you can contact us by one of the following methods:

What happens next

We will look at the details and decide whether we can award you the Discretionary Housing Payment.

If we need more information before making a decision, we may telephone or write to you to ask for more information or for you to provide evidence.

If we make the award

We will write and tell you how much you will be paid and how long you will go on receiving it, the payment will be for a set time depending on the reason for the award. We may reduce or stop the award if your circumstances change or if we reach the government spending limit.

If we decide we cannot make the award

We will write to you and explain our decision.

If you do not agree with our decision

You can ask us to look at our decision again; if you want us to look at our decision again, you will need to write to us and explain why you think our decision is wrong, within 1 month of the decision being made. If we look at your claim again, it will be by a different member of staff who has not dealt with your claim before.