The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme can help you if you get Housing Benefit but you still need help to pay your rent.

There are some charges that DHP can’t cover, including:

  • service charges, for example heating or hot water
  • charges for water rates
  • charges for tenants levy

If you get Council Tax Support (CTS) you can also get help to pay your Council Tax under the Council Tax Hardship Scheme (CTHS).

The amount of discretionary payment we can award and how long the award lasts depends on your own circumstances. You must be able to show that you need extra help to meet your housing costs.

DHP and CTHS come from a fixed pot of money, so we try to give the extra help to people who need it most. Once we’ve spent the money in the pot, no further awards can be made.

The application process

You need to provide as much information as you can about how much you spend each week on items like food, bills, clothes, your children and travel.

You don’t have to provide details of your income as we get this from your Housing Benefit claim.

When we receive your application form and have checked your supporting information, we’ll write to you with a decision.

How we pay

We make discretionary payments as a single lump sum payment. If you’re a Council tenant, we’ll pay your DHP directly to your rent account. If you’re a private tenant, we’ll pay your DHP in the same way as your Housing Benefit. If you’re awarded CTHS, we’ll reduce your Council Tax and send you a new bill for a lower amount. 

If you need to appeal

If you don’t agree with our decision you can contact the Discretionary Payment Team and ask us to look at your application again.

You must appeal within one month of the date of your decision letter. Please provide any information you feel may help your application and we’ll review our decision and write to you with the outcome.