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Discretionary housing payments

A Discretionary Housing Payment is a payment designed to help people on Housing Benefit or who are being paid the housing element of Universal Credit and who are in ‘short-term’ financial need. The amounts available are limited therefore an award can only be made if there are funds available. It is not intended to supplement Housing Benefit or Universal Credit on a long term basis. 

When can a Discretionary Housing Payment be awarded? Toggle accordion

To be considered for a Discretionary Housing Payment:

  • you need to be in receipt of Housing Benefit and

  • the Housing Benefit you receive must be less than your contractual rent – the payment cannot be used for services included in your rent such as utility bills 

or

  • you are being paid the housing element of Universal Credit (Discretionary Housing Payment cannot be used for services included in your rent i.e. utility bills). 

How to apply Toggle accordion

An application should be made by completing one of our Discretionary Housing Payment application forms or by making a request in writing. 

What happens next? Toggle accordion

We will look at your application and decide whether we can award you additional help. We may ask you to provide extra information in support of your request.

If we make the award we will write and tell you:

  • the reason we have made the award

  • how much you will be awarded and

  • the period of the award

If we decide that we cannot make the award we will write to you and tell you:

  • the reason we have not made the award and

  • what you can do if you do not agree with our decision

What happens if I do not agree with your decision? Toggle accordion

If we are unable to change our decision your request will be heard by the Housing Review Panel. The panel meets approximately every six weeks.

We will write to you and let you know the outcome of your claim. We call this a decision notice.

More information

Further information can be found in the Discretionary Housing Payment Policy