Making a claim for Discretionary Housing Benefit Payments 

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide you with financial assistance when a Local Authority considers that you need extra help with housing costs.

Whether you are given a DHP, how much you are given and for how long it is paid, will be a decided by your Local Authority and will depend on your individual circumstances.

Who is entitled to claim DHPs?

Anyone who needs extra help with housing costs and is currently claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit.

What will they cover?

DHP’s can cover a number of different things, including:

  • Loss in Housing Benefit following the introduction of size criteria (spare bedrooms)
  • Increase in travel costs due to moving away from your place of work
  • Rent deposits or rent in advance if you need to move home

 What information do I need to provide?

You will need to provide any information that may help you and your claim, this will help the decision maker to fully assess your claim and come to a fair decision. 

How do I make a claim?

This will depend on your Local Authority. Check their website or call the helpline.

Additional DHP funding

The Government made an additional £30 million available to the DHP Fund from 2013/14 specifically to help two groups who may be affected by the introduction of size criteria. These are people living in adapted accommodation and foster carers.

Adapted Accommodation

If you live in accommodation that has been significantly adapted for you or someone in your household due to a disability, you may be entitled to a DHP to make up any shortfall in your rent.

Foster Carers 

If you are a registered foster carer and are not currently looking after a child, the size criteria rules will assume that any empty room in your house is unoccupied. Although these rooms may be reserved for foster children, the system will not recognise this and can result in your Housing Benefits being cut. You may be able to get a DHP to cover any shortfall in rent.

If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact your Housing Officer.