Discretionary Housing Payments can cover the costs of:
- a shortfall in rent
- restrictions in Housing Benefit due to the number of people in your household and the number of bedrooms in your home. This is known as the social sector size criteria
- restrictions in Housing Benefit due to the benefit cap
- rent in advance if you are moving home
- help with removal costs
Discretionary housing payments are awarded at our discretion and money available for this is limited. This means that awards are usually only made for short periods and are only given in cases of extreme financial hardship.
Awards will usually only be made if there is evidence to show that:
- you are suffering severe financial hardship and finding it difficult to meet your essential living expenses such as rent, Council Tax, food and utility bills
- you or your family have exceptional circumstances, for example, you have a severe illness or disability that prevents you from moving to cheaper accommodation, you are fleeing violence at home, and your family home is at risk because of severe levels of debt
You cannot get a DHP if your rent shortfall is due to a benefit overpayment or suspension.
Our discretionary housing payment policy provides details of the main features of the DHP scheme and how it is operated.