You may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if:
- you receive Housing Benefit and it is less than the amount you are being charged for rent
- the Council considers additional help is needed
Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis and you will need to show that due to your personal circumstances you need extra help with your housing costs. The DHP is a short-term measure and should not be relied on in the long term. If your request is turned down, you can ask for a decision to be reviewed. To do this, you should:
- write to the Council within one calendar month of the date of the decision letter
- provide any additional information you feel may help your application
If a payment is awarded:
- it will last for a specified period of time, usually no more than 13 weeks
- you will be expected to pay the first £20 per week of any shortfall between you Housing Benefit and the rent you are being charged
When the payment period ends you can apply for another DHP. The Council will review this and consider the progress you have with any actions you were asked to undertake to improve your circumstances. The Council may not make further awards if the agreed action plan has been disregarded.
It is important to tell the Council about any changes in your circumstances. If your circumstances change and you are overpaid, you will be expected to return the overpayment.
You can find more information about DHPs at GOV.UK and by reading the Council's Discretionary Housing Payment Policy.