Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide customers with further financial assistance when a local authority considers that help with housing costs is needed.
Whether you are granted a DHP, how much it is and for how long it is paid will be a decision for the local authority and will entirely depend on an individual’s circumstances and the purpose of the DHP.
Who is entitled to claim DHPs?
Anyone who is currently claiming Housing Benefit and requires further assistance with housing costs.
What will they cover?
Among other things DHPs will cover:
- Restrictions in Housing Benefit allowance following the introduction of size criteria in the social rented sector.
- Increase in essential work-related expenditure due to moving further from your place of employment.
- Rent deposits or rent in advance if you need to move home.
What information do I need to provide?
You must provide any information that is relevant to your claim to help the decision maker fully assess your claim and come to a decision.
How do I make a claim?
This will depend on your local authority. Check their website or call the helpline.
Additional DHP funding
The Government has made an additional £30 million available to the DHP fund from 2013/14 specifically to help two groups who may be affected by the introduction of size criteria rules in to the social rented sector. These are people living in significantly adapted accommodation and foster carers.
If you live in accommodation that has been significantly adapted for you or someone in your household due to a disability, you may be entitled to a DHP to make up any shortfall in your rent from having a reduction for your spare room.
If you are a registered foster carer whether you are currently looking after a child or not, or you are applying to be a foster carer, the size criteria rules will not recognise that any bedroom reserved for a foster child is occupied. Any such room will be treated as a spare room. You may therefore be considered to be under-occupying your accommodation and see a reduction in your Housing Benefit. As a result you may be able to get a DHP to cover any shortfall in rent.