Discretionary Housing Payment

Discretionary Housing Payment is a discretionary payment local councils have the power to award individuals who need extra financial support to deal with housing costs. The costs could include paying your rent or perhaps a contribution towards a tenancy deposit. It is only available to those who are already claiming Housing Benefit or the Housing Cost element of Universal Credit.

It should be noted Discretionary Housing Payment cannot be used to cover any increase in your rental costs due to arrears or to recover overpayments.

Basic eligibility

You must be claiming Housing Benefit or the Housing element of Universal Credit in order to claim Discretionary Housing Payment. Any other income or capital you may have which could impact your eligibility will be handled by your local authority.

Central government recently upped the amount of money they are putting into DHP in order to provide more to support to certain individuals including…

  • Those living in non-permanent accommodation
  • Those getting away from domestic violence
  • Those looking after their relative’s children (kinship care)
  • Those who have a specific reason why they cannot move house (health/education etc)
  • Those who are moving to more suitable accommodation
  • Those who are (or who are about to become) adoptive parents or foster carer’s
  • Those living in adapted accommodation due to a disability

How much will I get?

This is decided at local authority level. The amount you will get will be based upon your need assessed by your local council. It may not cover all the money you need to meet your rent. Each council has a limited annual fund from which to draw from.

How do I apply?

You need to contact your local council – either by phone or by writing to them.

Typically you will need to supply the following supporting documentary evidence…

  • Payslips
  • Bank Statements
  • Letter of arrears
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Any medical evidence

You must report any chance of circumstances that could impact your right to claim.

How will I get paid the money?

The money will be paid directly to your landlord.

Impact on other benefits

Discretionary Housing Payment is not counted as income when applying for other means-tested benefits and does not count towards the Benefits Cap.