Benefits you may be able to claim

Making a claim for Discretionary Housing Payments

If your rent is not met in full by housing benefit or universal credit and you have a temporary situation which makes it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for extra help in the form of discretionary housing payments (DHPs).

To qualify for a payment you must be receiving housing benefit or the housing costs element of universal credit, and you will need to satisfy us that there are very good reasons for an award.

We only have a limited amount of money each year to help residents with DHPs, so we need to ensure that DHPs are awarded to people who need them most.

Applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

If you want extra help with paying your rent, for whatever reason and regardless of who you pay your rent to, you first have to make an application for homelessness. Our Homelessness Prevention and Advice Service (HPAS) will then consider your application.

Our HPAS team have a range of help they can offer, like advising you on how to find somewhere else to live, if this is appropriate. They will decide whether a DHP is the right support for you.

To access their help, please complete the homelessness application form on the HPAS web page.

Important: If you want a DHP, please make this clear in your HPAS application. On the section titled “current address information” there is a question that asks you to “Briefly state why you are faced with homelessness?”, Please include “DHP” in your response along with any other relevant information to support your request for a DHP. This will ensure your request is fast-tracked to a DHP specialist officer.

You can read our DHP policy (Word) here.

You can find our DHP policy appendix (Word) here.

Not everyone who applies can be given an award, so the more you tell us about your circumstances the better your chances are of getting an award.

Things that we take into account are:

  • A non-dependant deduction
  • If your benefit has been reduced due to the benefit cap
  • You are a council tenant or a housing association tenant who is affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ and have exceptional circumstances
  • You are a private tenant and we think your rent is too high
  • Your income means you do not get full benefit.