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How to apply

To apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, you will need:

  • your name, address, national insurance number and contact details
  • your partners name, address, national insurance number and contact details (if you have one)
  • the full name and date of birth of anyone who lives with you (including children)

You must:

You will need to tell us:

  • why you want a Discretionary Housing Payment
  • if you have any rent arrears
  • how much rent you pay
  • your income and outgoings, and your partner’s income and outgoings if they live with you
  • your home and living arrangements. For example, how many bedrooms are in your home and what you use each room for
  • how much money other people living with you pay (we expect all non-dependants to contribute to the household bills, including rent)
  • payment information

In addition, you will also need to tell us:

  • the name and address of your landlord, and whether you give permission for us to discuss your application with them
  • any pending court action, or threat of eviction or homelessness
  • any engagement and agreements with your landlord
  • the amount of savings, capital and investments you have
  • the name of your employer
  • if you or your partner gets any other benefits, for example, Universal Credit or tax credits
  • how much child maintenance you get, and how often you get it
  • if you or your partner pays for childcare costs, how much and how often
  • if you or your partner have any other income, and how much you get
  • a breakdown of all your regular household expenditure
  • any personal circumstances and the needs of you and your family. For example, disabilities or long-term health needs
  • the steps you have taken to pay your rent or reduce your debt
  • any reasons why you can’t take certain actions, such as moving to cheaper accommodation, reducing non-essential expenditure

If you have rent arrears, we will make payments to your landlord and you will need to provide us with the account details. If you do not want your landlord to receive payments, you must tell us why.

Rejecting an application

We will refuse your Discretionary Housing Payment application if:

  • you do not complete the application in full
  • you have not provided the correct evidence

Steps you can take to improve your situation

We will determine the amount of Discretionary Housing Payment we give so that you can pay your rent or housing costs.

To support your claim, you will need to take steps so that you are less likely to need a Discretionary Housing Payment in the future.

These steps could include:

  • reducing non-essential expenditure
  • claiming another benefit, if you are entitled to
  • checking that amounts of benefits already received are correct. For example reporting increases in your rent and other changes in your circumstances to Universal Credit
  • seeking employment or self-employment, or increasing the hours you currently work
  • moving to cheaper accommodation
  • speaking to your landlord to set up affordable repayments for rent arrears
  • seeking debt advice from agencies such as StepChange
  • asking to have Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit payments paid direct to your landlord, to prevent further rent arrears

If we expect you to take any of these steps, we will discuss it with you as part of your application.

How we pay DHP

We pay your DHP into your bank account, monthly. Unless you ask us to pay it directly to your landlord.

If you have had a Discretionary Housing Payment before and that payment period has stopped, there is no guarantee we will pay it again.

You must make a new application and submit the relevant evidence once that payment period ends.

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Last updated: 23 September 2022