What is Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP), how to claim, and how we make our decision
What is DHP?
DHP is an additional payment to people who receive Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit with a housing element, and need further help with a rent shortfall.
We award DHP on a short-term basis whilst you take action to improve your situation. The length of the award will depend on your personal circumstances.
How to apply
You will need to complete our application form.
To apply for DHP you'll need:
- to provide proof of your income and outgoings (please send this in with the form)
- your award letter if you're on Universal Credit with a housing element
You can send your application and supporting evidence to the address on the form.
What DHP can cover
DHP can cover:
- reductions in Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit due to benefit changes, for example the Benefit Cap and Spare Room Reduction
- reductions in Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit due to non-dependant deductions
- shortfalls in Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit for another reason; we’ll look at each case individually
What DHP cannot cover
DHP cannot cover:
- service charges not covered by Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit - for example meals, water charges and heating
- increases in your rent to cover rent arrears
- reductions in your benefit as a result of Child Support
- shortfalls in Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit caused by an overpayment we are recovering from you (we may be able to reduce the weekly recovery rate if you're in financial hardship, contact us for more advice)
- amounts of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit that have been suspended
How we decide if you’re able to claim DHP
We look at each case individually while trying to ensure that we make payments to those most in need. There are no set rules that will make you qualify automatically. We will consider the following:
- the household income and savings
- if there are any outstanding debts
- the households outgoings, and if all expenditure is necessary
- if the household has taken steps to improve their long term situation
- any other relevant information
Once we have made our decision, we’ll write out to confirm if your application has been successful or not.
What if my request is turned down?
If your application is unsuccessful, there is no right to appeal. However, you can ask us to look at the decision again, pointing out your reasons for the request and provide any suitable supporting evidence. This request must be within one calendar month of the original decision.