The Government has set limits on how much DHP can be paid out in any financial year. These payments are made from a separate fund with a limited budget and are awarded as a short-term measure to help claimants experiencing difficult circumstances.
The Council uses its allocated DHP budget in order to:
- Alleviate hardship and help prevent homelessness
- Support vulnerable people in the community
- Help people through family crisis or difficult life events
Where help will be given
- You must be in receipt of Housing Benefit and
- Require further financial assistance with housing costs (this includes rent in advance, deposits or lump sums such as removal costs)
Where help will not be given
There are certain elements of rent that cannot be covered via DHP. These elements include:
- ineligible service charges
- increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
- Benefit suspensions
- shortfalls caused by Housing Benefit overpayment recovery
- certain sanctions and reductions to benefit
How we make a decision
Before considering awarding a DHP it is important to check that all other benefits have been claimed and are being paid at the appropriate rate. This includes any possible entitlement under the 13 and 52 week protected rent rules.
Your claim is referred to our Housing Options Team who will review your financial and personal circumstances and offer advice with regard to housing issues and finance.
We will write to you to advise you of whether a DHP has or has not been awarded. If not awarded the reasons why.
Your DHP Award
The DHP award will not exceed the weekly eligible rent. There will be regular reviews of the award to ensure that the DHP is still required.
What happens if I disagree with the decision
If you disagree with the decision about your DHP application you can ask us to look at your case again. There is no formal right of appeal against a decision not to award a Discretionary Housing Payment, however you may request a reconsideration of the decision and you should do so within one month of the date of the notification letter in writing
The decision can also be looked at again in the light of any new information presented to us or whenever we consider it to be appropriate.
How to make an application
Please complete the application form which is available on the right hand side of this page. The completed form and information should be returned to the Benefits Section at the Civic Centre.
If you require some help to complete the form or wish to make an appointment please contact us using the contact information below.
What information should I send with the claim?
- Evidence of your income, outgoings and debts such as utility bills
- Bank/Building Society/Post Office statements for the last three months
- You should also provide any information about your circumstances that make things difficult for you financially