Discretionary housing payments

Who is eligible for discretionary housing payments?

If you are in receipt of either housing benefit, the housing element of universal credit or council tax support and this does not cover all of your rent or council tax charge, you may be able to apply for a discretionary housing payment.

Discretionary housing payments are considered when we are satisfied there is an additional need to meet housing costs.

Discretionary housing payments do not cover:

  • Any amount you pay in your rent for services that is not covered by housing benefit or universal credit such as hot water, electricity, gas or food
  • Non-dependant deductions
  • Charges for water and sewerage
  • Where you may have had an increase in your rent, and you are paying back rent arrears on top of your normal rent
  • Where benefit has been suspended because you have not supplied the correct information needed to support your claim
  • Any reduction in your benefit because you did not go to a work-related interview
  • Any reduction or loss in benefit due to a reduced benefit direction or because you have not co-operated when arranging maintenance
  • Any repayments of an overpayment deducted from your housing benefit (we can consider outgoings/income to see if we could reduce the amount of recovery before considering a discretionary housing payment)

It is important to know if a person is receiving the mobility element of disability living allowance, then this will be used in the calculation for discretionary housing payment but the amounts for disability living allowance (living element) or personal independence payment are disregarded.

Remember that we are limited to the amount that we can spend, so once we have reached our budget, we may not have any funds available. This means that you may need to apply again later.

Anyone who would like to apply for a discretionary housing payment would be advised to look at the factors that we consider when we decide whether to grant a discretionary housing payment.

Usually, awards are made for a short term, fixed period only, allowing time for you to seek alternative solutions to financial problems. Discretionary housing payments should not be considered as a long-term measure or as part of your normal benefit award.

If you would like to know more information about the guidelines we work to when considering applications for discretionary housing payments, please see the policy below.

Last updated: ‎14/06/2023 11:34