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A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) could help you if your benefit doesn't cover your rent.

If you're getting Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, you may be able to get extra help if you're struggling to pay the rest of the rent yourself.

You can also ask for a DHP if you need to pay rent in advance to get the tenancy of a new home.

How do I apply for a DHP?

Download and print out a claim form. You can also email or phone to ask for a form, or call in to Customer Services to collect one.

You'll need to send full details of the money you have coming in and going out so we can work out if you can get a DHP. 

When we look at your claim, we class some expenses as essential and allow for these when working out if we can award any extra help. But some outgoings can't be allowed or the amount allowed may be limited.

How will it be paid?

If you already get Housing Benefit, any extra money awarded will be paid along with your usual payment.

If you get the housing element of Universal Credit:

  • We'll pay your benefit to your rent account if you're a council tenant
  • We'll send you a bank credit payment every four weeks if you rent from a social or private landlord.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

If you disagree with the decision that we make, you can ask for it to be looked at again, but there is no right of appeal.

When won't a DHP be given?

Some things can't be covered by DHPs, such as:

  • Ineligible service charges - this means things like fuel, hot water, lighting or meals included in your rent
  • A reduction because of a non-dependant deduction
  • A Jobseekers Allowance sanction
  • A drop in your benefit because you didn't go to a work-related interview
  • To cover rent arrears.

The Government only allows us a limited annual amount to spend on this scheme, so not all claims can be successful.

A DHP may only be given for a short period of time and may not be for the full difference between your benefit and your rent.

What about extra help with my Council Tax?

If you already get full help with your rent, or if you don't pay rent and just need extra help with your Council Tax, you can apply for a Council Tax Discretionary Discount.

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