Discretionary housing payments

Applying for discretionary housing payments

How do I apply?

If you think you are eligible for discretionary housing payments, please complete our online form.

When you complete the form, we will ask you to tell us:

  • Your details
  • Your partner's details (if applicable)
  • When you moved into your property
  • Your rent costs and terms of your tenancy 
  • About the suitability of your property
  • Your household income
  • Your household outgoings*

*We may ask you to provide evidence of any household outgoings which are unusually high.

Apply for discretionary housing payments 

Alternatively, complete our benefits contact form or telephone us on 01455 238141 to request a paper application form which you can complete and return to us.

If you need help whilst completing the form, you can phone us.

If you have been granted a discretionary housing payment in the last year and would like to claim again, you must complete a new claim form and you will also need to confirm what you have done to try and change your situation. If you are able to provide any additional information to support your claim, this will assist us when determining whether we can award a discretionary housing payment, although a full financial assessment will be the deciding factor.

What happens after I have applied?

It usually takes two weeks to decide if you are eligible for a discretionary housing payment. We will send you a letter to explain our decision and provide details of any entitlement. This payment will either be sent directly to your council tax account or will be paid along with your housing benefit.

How will I receive my discretionary housing payment?

If you are in receipt of housing benefit your discretionary housing payment will be made along with your housing benefit. If you are in receipt of universal credit we will pay your discretionary housing payment every fortnight into your bank account. It will normally start from the Monday following the day we receive your application. Discretionary housing payments are paid for at least one week.

Due to the limited budget allocated by the government each case is considered on its own merits which means that not all applications will be successful. Any extra help given may not be for the full difference between your benefit and your rent.

What do I do if my circumstances change?

You must tell us as soon as possible if your circumstances change. We may need to change your award of discretionary housing payment if your circumstances have changed. If the change means that you have received money you are not entitled to you may be asked to pay it back. Examples of changes in income and family circumstances are:

  • When income support, jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance or universal credit stops or starts
  • Change of address
  • Changes in income or savings
  • When someone moves in or out of your home

This list cannot cover everything. If you don’t know if a change in your circumstances will alter your discretionary housing payment, tell us anyway.

What if I do not agree with your decision about a discretionary housing payment?

There is no formal right of appeal against a decision about a discretionary housing payment, but you can request that the decision be looked at again by another member of our service. If you would like your decision to be looked at again, you must request this in writing within four weeks of the date on the decision letter, giving the reasons why you disagree. You can phone, write or visit us and ask us to explain the decision. You can also ask us for a written statement of reasons, which will show more information about the decision.

Last updated: 08/06/2023 12:22