Discretionary housing payment

If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but need extra help with rent then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

You must have a live claim for either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to apply for DHP.

What DHP is for?

We award DHP in certain circumstances to:

  • help claimants through difficult personal events;
  • help with housing costs where someone on benefit is affected by a reduction to their benefit caused by the benefit cap or 'bedroom tax';
  • help a claimant budget better towards the payment of rent and/or council tax on their home.

What you need to be aware of?

  • The purpose of a DHP is to help you out temporarily, the extra money is not a long term solution.
  • You should remember that we only generally accept DHP claims from people who have a short fall in their housing benefit due to rent restriction on their claim, for example, LHA, benefit cap, or under occupancy reductions.

How is the assistance paid?

  • it can be paid either to you or the landlord as part of the normal Housing Benefit payment' or
  • a separate payment to you or your landlord where you are receiving Universal Credit

It is also important to note that:

  • we don't often meet the entire shortfall in your housing costs, as individual payments are from a limited fund;
  • payments are usually awarded for short periods only and tend to be capped at around 14% of the rent - aligned to the lowest bedroom tax charge;
  • we cap the awards to ensure that the majority of claimants making an application receive some help rather than a small number of recipients having a high payment made.

For further details, please contact your benefits service by telephoning 01629 818222 (Option 2) or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There is no application form and so you should just make your written or emailed request for help by providing a snapshot of your personal circumstances, explaining why you need extra help towards the payment of your rent or council tax.

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