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If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but are still struggling to pay your rent then you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment to top up your benefit.
You may be entitled to a discretionary housing payment, for example, if:
- Your rent eligible for Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit has been restricted by the rent officer or the Local Housing Allowance
- Your rent eligible for Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit has been restricted because you are considered to have more bedrooms in your house than you need
- You are affected by the Benefit Cap
- Your benefit has been reduced by a non-dependant deduction
- You have unavoidable expenditure that is not covered by the ordinary benefit scheme, or
- You have other special circumstances.
A discretionary housing payment cannot be made if:
- You pay rent but are not entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
- Your income has been reduced because you are repaying an overpayment of benefit.
Discretionary housing payments are made from a limited fund that the Department for Work and Pensions gives to the council each year. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that any application will be successful. Priority will be given to those claimants whose circumstances are considered most exceptional.
When making the decision we will look at various factors including any disregarded income that you have, whether it is possible to reduce your expenditure, what help is available from other organisations, and whether it is reasonable to expect you to move to cheaper accommodation. Generally, awards will be made for a limited period during which you will be expected to take steps to improve your circumstances.
To apply you will need to complete an application form. You will find a form in the downloads section to the right or you can obtain one by phoning us. You can return the form by:
- scanning it and emailing to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
- by post, or
- by phoning 01295 227002 to make an appointment for one of our LinkPoint offices.