Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) give people on benefits extra help towards living costs.
Despite what some councils might tell you they are not just for rent or paying off your council tax bills, they can be requested for a variety of matters which as a result leave you short of money every month.
Payments are available to people facing financial hardship who are entitled to housing benefit or council tax benefit, but need further help paying rent or other housing costs. Most DHP claims are made by private renters who receive housing benefit in the form of local housing allowance (LHA), although the payments can also be awarded to council and housing association tenants.
Council tax and rent are not a priority for many tenants and after paying off other bills it may leave you short of money to pay your rent. As long as what you are paying for is covered under the terms of the DHP schemes, which differ slightly form council to council you maybe eligible for a discretionary payment in this manner.
They are made by the Council and you do need to be currently receiving either housing benefit or council tax benefit to qualify to get DHP.
It’s important to remember Discretionary benefits are given at the discretion of officials and that they are given because some needs are unpredictable, many social assistance schemes have some kind of discretionary element to deal with urgent or exceptional needs; where social assistance is tied to social work, discretionary payments may also be used as a means of encouraging and directing appropriate patterns of behaviour. Some provision for discretionary benefits is generally seen as a necessity, because it is impossible to provide for every need in advance. However, in circumstances where other benefits are inadequate to meet basic needs, discretionary benefits are liable to be called on more frequently than is appropriate administratively.
Lets make this clear, you have no right to such a payment - its Discretionary. The element of 'discretion' in discretionary benefits varies. In some cases, the 'discretion' is the discretion of an agency; in others, it is the discretion of an individual officer.
When and how to make a claim for extra funding under the DHP scheme.
Learn what you can claim for and get extra benefit money when you are struggling
The council decide how much of any shortfall they decide to meet, here;s how.
There are two types of DHPs, lump sum payments and ongoing payments. See How it works.
What's in it and how to complete the Discretionary Housing Payments Form.