Discretionary Housing Payment
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are extra payments to help pay rent. We give DHPs to people claiming benefit who need more help with their housing costs, if these are more than the amount of benefit they get.
We can’t give DHPs for the following:
- Service charges not covered by housing benefit
- Any rent you owe
- If we take any amount from your housing benefit because your Jobseeker’s Allowance has not been paid because you have broken the rules of your claim
- When your housing benefit payment is suspended
- Rent, if you are only entitled to council tax reduction
- Council tax
- If the only benefit you get is second adult rebate
How do I apply for a DHP?
You can only apply for a DHP if you are currently entitled to some housing benefit from us or if you are getting Univsersal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs. You can complete a claim online or fill in the form and send it to us or contact us and we will send you one in the post.
DHP form for rent deposit /rent in advance
If you need help to cover a deposit and /or rent in advance when you move to a new property, you need to complete the DHP deposit/rent form in full. You must be currently receiving housing benefit from Rushcliffe Borough Council to claim a DHP for this purpose. If you live outside of Rushcliffe and you receive housing benefit, but require help with a deposit and/or rent in advance for a property in Rushcliffe, you need to apply to your current local authority to claim a DHP for these costs.
DHP form for significantly adapted accommodation
If you need a claim DHP to cover a restriction in your rent due to under occupation and you live in significantly adapted accommodation. You need to complete the DHP - Disabled Adaptations form and provide any evidence of the works undertaken.
How do you decide if I can have a DHP?
We look at the following to reach our decision:
- Your income
- Your savings
- If anyone else in your house can help you
- If you have any loans or debts
- If you could manage your money better
- If you, or anyone in your family, is ill or disabled
- If you have tried to put the situation right yourself.
We will ask you for a lot of information and it is likely you will be invited to attend an inteview to discuss your application in more detail. We will send you a letter telling you our decision and our reasons for that decision.
If we give you a DHP, we will tell you the amount and how long we will pay it for in the letter.
How much can I get and for how long?
How much we give you depends on your circumstances. We look at each case individually. However, we cannot guarantee we’ll give you a payment. We cannot give you more than your total rent (less amounts for services such as electricity or water).
DHP is normally awarded from the date of the request. The award may also be aligned to the start of a recent claim for benefit or from the date that entitlement to benefit changes following a recent change of circumstances. Awards of DHP are usually for short periods to allow you time to either seek employment or find cheaper alternative accommodation.
How will you pay the DHP if my application is successful?
We will usually pay it with any housing benefit that you get, although a DHP is not a benefit payment.
What should I do if I disagree with your decision?
If you disagree with our decision not to give you a DHP, the amount we have decided to give you, or how long we will give you a DHP for, you can ask us to look at the decision again. You should write to us within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter telling us why disagree with our decision. You can’t appeal to the Tribunals Service if you disagree with our decision not to pay you a DHP because it is not a benefit payment.
If your circumstances change, you must tell us straightaway. We will look at your DHP again to see if we need to change it. If the change means we have to reduce your DHP, you might have to pay back some or all of the DHP we have already paid you.
Further information is contained in our Discretionary Housing Payment policy for 2013/14.