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Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments are for people who are receiving Universal Credit (housing cost element) or housing benefit payments that are less than their rent payments and need help to cover the shortfall. 

There is a limited amount of money available for discretionary housing payments. 

You can find out more in our Discretionary Financial Assistance Policy.

How do I apply?Apply for discretionary housing payment

We’ll look at the details from this form together with the details you provided when applying for benefit.  It’s important that you give as much information as you can to help us make a decision and you may be asked to provide recent bank statements.  We’ll write and tell you what we decide. 

If you get discretionary housing payments, we’ll expect you to work with us to find long term solutions to your financial situation.

What do I need to tell you?

You will need to tell us:

  • Your National Insurance Number or Housing Benefit claim number
  • Your income (if you have a partner we will also need to know theirs)
  • Any savings you have (if you have a partner we will also need to know theirs)
  • Your outgoings (if you have a partner we will also need to know theirs)
  • Your health and medical circumstances or any disabilities that you may have
  • Why you require extra help with your rent

How much help can I get?

The most we can give you is the difference between your housing benefit or your Universal Credit (housing cost element) and your eligible rent charge.

Discretionary housing payments can’t be used to cover rent arrears or services that aren’t eligible for housing benefit (for example, water rates, heating, meals) – even if they’re included in your rent.

How long will I get discretionary housing payments?

Discretionary housing payments depend on your circumstances and how long these are likely to last.  Awards are normally made for a number of weeks.  You can apply again at the end of the award if you need to.  If you are reapplying you will need to tell us what you have done to try and improve your situation since your last application. 

How do I appeal?

Discretionary housing payments are not benefit and you can’t appeal against our decision.  However, you can ask us to look at the decision again.

Write to us giving your reasons for asking us to review our decision. his needs to be within one month of the date on our letter to you telling you about our decision.  If your request is later than this, include the reasons for the delay in your letter.  

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