Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but need extra help with rent or moving costs then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

How to claim

Fill in an application form (pdf, 237KB) (opens new window) .

If you get Universal Credit we'll need evidence of your:

  • Universal Credit award, such as screenshots of your award summary from your online journal
  • rent commitment, unless you're a Local Authority Tenant, such as tenancy agreement or letter from your landlord

You can also apply for help with moving costs:

We’ll write to you telling you what we decide and the reasons for it.

What the payment can cover

  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit due to benefit changes, for example the benefit cap and bedroom tax
  • rent deposits or rent in advance if you're affected by a benefits change and want to move to a cheaper or smaller place, if so please tell us before moving
  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit due to non-dependant deductions
  • shortfalls between Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and rent charged for any other reason; we’ll look at each case individually

What the payment cannot cover

  • service charges not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, for example heating, meals or water charges
  • increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit, for example, a Jobseeker’s Allowance sanction applied by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • shortfalls in Housing Benefit caused by recovery of overpayments (we may be able to reduce the weekly recovery rate if it’s causing you financial hardship, contact us for more advice)

How we decide if payment can be made

We look at each case and consider the following when we make a decision:

  • the household income
  • any savings the household may have
  • if anyone in the household is ill or disabled
  • if the person claiming has anyone else in the household that could help
  • if the person claiming has tried to help themselves or has a plan for a solution
  • if the household has any debts
  • if the household could budget to afford some or all of the shortfall
  • any other relevant information

How we’ll tell you about our decision

We’ll write to you with our decision and the reason for it.

If you disagree with our decision

Write to us within one month of the date on the decision letter, explaining why you don't agree with the decision. We'll then look at the decision again.

You can't appeal to the tribunal service because DHPs are not covered by the same law as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.