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Council Services:

Discretionary payments

What is Discretionary Housing Payment?

The council can award a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) where someone needs extra help with their rent payments.  DHPs are not Housing Benefit, but you must be in receipt of Housing Benefit to be able to claim a DHP.

If you are in receipt of Local Council Tax Support, DHPs cannot be awarded to pay your Council Tax shortfall.

DHPs can be awarded to top up Housing Benefit, but the total amount we pay cannot be more than the amount of rent you have to pay each week or month.

The amount of the DHP award depends on your individual circumstances, and you must demonstrate that you are suffering from financial hardship due to the shortfall in your Housing Benefit.  The award is intended as a short-term measure to help in difficult circumstances and you should not rely on a DHP as a long term solution to your financial problems.

Once you have made an application for a DHP you will be contacted to arrange for a member of the Revenues & Benefits Visiting Team to visit you at home to discuss the application and your financial situation.

The funding for DHPs comes from central government and is limited each year, so when it has been spent no more awards can be made.

How do I apply for a DHP?

You can telephone the Benefits Team to request an application form or you can visit the Guildhall enquiry desks or one of the weekly local benefit advice surgeries -completion of the official form is required. The forms are available to download from the ‘Downloads’ tab above.

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Last updated: 26 March 2014

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