If you receive Housing Benefit but need more help to pay your rent, you may be entitled to extra financial help.
We have a limited amount of money which we can spend each year to help people who need help with these housing costs. This extra help is called Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
How long will the payments last for?
Each case will be different, however awards are temporary and therefore recipients of the payments must not rely on continued payments or upon further payments being made.
How do you decide if I am entitled to extra help?
An assessment of income and expenditure will be undertaken on ALL cases to determine if expenditure is higher than income. In order to assess eligibility applicants will be required to provide full details before a decision is made. Only cases where expenditure has been assessed as being higher than income will be considered further.
Evidence of income will be taken from the current housing benefit claim.
Essential expenditure will be items such as food and utilities and items associated with disability such as taxis and personal care (this list is not exhaustive)
If items of expenditure are considered to be unreasonably high then the we will limit the levels used in the assessment, in accordance with DWP guidance.
We will expect the customer to firstly reduce expenditure on non-essential items.
If there are non-dependants living in the household we will expect them to contribute financially.
If the applicant and / or partner have capital we will expect them to use this as income and a DHP will not be paid.
When making a decision we will take into consideration all the particular circumstances of the application.
How do I apply?
For an application to be considered you must fully complete the form, including the section on expenditure. You will be required to provide evidence to support your application, such as proof of expenditure, debts, rent arrears and any health issues. Please do not send any original/valuable documents through the post.
Reviewing a DHP decision.
There is no legal right of appeal on DHP decisions, however applicants can request an explanation of the decision and will be given the opportunity to have a decision on their claim reviewed by a Senior Manager of the Council who has had no involvement with the original decision.
Requests for review must be made in writing. Any request for review, must be received by us within one month of the decision being notified to the customer.
The customer may be asked to provide additional information in support of the request for review.
The decision of the review will be notified in writing within 7 days of receiving the review request and all supporting information. No further right of appeal exists.