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Found 8 results

  1. Discretionary Housing Payment What is a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)? Each Local Authority is given a pot of money each year to help people who qualify for Housing or Council Tax Benefit, but are having trouble paying their Rent or Council Tax. The Council decides who should be given the payments. When the money for the year runs out, no more payments can be made. What can a Discretionary Housing Payment Cover? A discretionary housing payment (DHP) may be used to pay for: Ø Rent deposits. Ø Rent in advance. Ø Rent arrears (but not if you were receiving enough housing benefit to pay all of your rent at the time the arrears built up). Ø A shortfall between housing benefit and rent. Ø Reductions in housing benefit, after changes in April 2013 known as the 'bedroom tax'. Ø Reductions in local housing allowance resulting from changes from April 2011. A discretionary housing payment cannot be paid if the reason for shortfall is that your housing benefit has been reduced to recover an overpayment or because your other benefits have been reduced, for example, because you left your last job voluntarily. What do the Council take into Consideration? The council will usually take into account any special circumstances that contribute to your financial difficulties, for example, if: Ø You have to pay child maintenance. Ø You have to pay legal costs. Ø Your heating costs are high as you spend a lot of time at home because of sickness or disability. Ø You have additional travel costs because you travel to a doctor or hospital or you care for a relative or friend. Ø Your work-related travel costs have increased because you had to move as a result of cuts to in the local housing allowance. Ø You are likely to become homeless if a payment is not made. How can you Claim Discretionary Housing Payment? You will need to contact your Local Councils Benefits Section and request a Discretionary Housing Payment Application Form and complete it and return and await decision. The criteria for the Discretionary Housing Payment and the Application Form is set by each individual Local Council therefore the criteria from council to council will be different throughout the UK. What Information may you be required to send with your claim? You may be asked for details of your Income and Outgoings. You could send copies of relevant bills or bank statements. You should also provide any information about your circumstances that make things difficult for you financially. Can you Appeal if you don’t get a Discretionary Housing Payment? There is No Right of Appeal to a tribunal if the Council say it will not give you a Discretionary Housing Payment, but you can ask the Council to have another look at its decision. If that fails, the only way to challenge the decision is in the courts using judicial review. However, this is not always possible - get advice from a local advice centre about this. Check with your Local Council to get an Application Form as each Councils form is slightly different Note: Please also check Post #4 as it has Sources of Interest on DHP
  2. Hi All Anyone have experience of Scottish Sheriff court eviction proceedings? Ever heard of Sheriff granting decree to evict when only 1 discretionary ground is cited in AT6? Case history- I served landlord notice to quit halfway through a 12 month short assured tenancy, however I now need hospital treatment so I've had to cancel a trip I had planned and am unable to find new accommodation at short notice. Notice expires in a few weeks. I have always paid rent on time and adhered to all conditions of the tenancy agreement. So only ground landlord can use to evict me is Ground 10 of Schedule 5 of Housing (Scotland) Act 1988, which even if proven, is at the discretion of the Sheriff as to whether it is "reasonable" or not to grant the order. (Ground 10- (a)the tenant has given a notice to quit which has expired; and (b)the tenant has remained in possession of the whole or any part of the house; and ©proceedings for the recovery of possession have been begun not more than six months after the expiry of the notice to quit; and (d)the tenant is not entitled to possession of the house by virtue of a new tenancy) Landlords' agent has repeatedly stated that reason landlord wants me to leave is because he wants to sell the property. Is the Sheriff likely to find it reasonable to make me homeless just before Xmas 2014 so that the landlord can satisfy their avarice? and Will the Sheriff determine that I have to pay legal fees for eviction because I have stayed passed the quit date without good reason (I would argue that need for medical treatment prevented me from finding new accommodation at short notice) I'm thankful to any CAGgers who take the time to share their expertise on this subject
  3. our application for discretionary housing was refused, as they say 100 a week on petrol is too much, 195 pcm on hp for car is too much, and that 50 for my disabled childrens things etc equipment, clothes, shoes and nappies and wipes etc. I did provide evidence to show the car is used everyday partner world 35 miles away and used for school run and childs physio sessions, they told to me that we can cut down on petrol and pay less on arrears on utilities (pay 21 on elec and 11 on gas and 25 on water) they also said i should reduce spends on food bill as it is 200 a week for a family of 6. I have applied on 3 different occasions and all been refused and the welfare team helped on last one but still said no due to the above
  4. Throughout the governments Welfare Reform in respect of Housing Benefit, there has been repeated reference by the government to Discretionary Housing Payments as a safeguard for those affected by: - Housing Benefit reductions in private sector the extension of shared room rate in private sector the introduction of the under occupation reduction for social tenants I thought it might be helpful to provide some basic information about Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). Since 2001, each Council has had a discretion to offer extra assistance to those in receipt of: - HB who require additional financial assistance to meet their rent costs. CTB who require additional financial assistance to meet their council tax costs. The amount that a Council can spend is set by the DWP and varies by Council and by year. details of Council's funding limits for 2013/14 can be found at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/s1-2013.pdf Please note that with effect from 1 April 2013, DHPs will no longer be payable to assist with Council Tax costs. It will solely be for help with rent costs, and will be available to those in receipt of HB or Universal Credit. If you are not receiving HB/UC, you will not be eligible for a DHP. If your HB/UC meets your full rental costs, you will not be eligible for a DHP. DHPs are not part of the normal Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit schemes. As the name suggests, any payments are made at the Council's discretion. The DWP guidance advises that DHPs should not be used as a way to get round the application of any standard HB restrictions or the government's Welfare Reform. There are no rules that give anyone a right to a payment, but the Council may be able to pay you Discretionary Housing Payments if they believe that you need extra financial support. Normally to be awarded a DHP, you would need to have unusual or extreme circumstances which are causing hardship or mean that you're at risk of becoming homeless. Situations where DHPs may be payable include: - Foster carers who require additional rooms not allowed for in HB Disabled people living in significantly adapted properties People who are unable to pay the shortfall between rent and HB due to other unusual circumstances DHPs cannot be paid to meet service charges that don't count for Housing Benefit - things like charges for water, heating or meals. As there is only a limited amount of money available to pay DHPs, most awards would only be paid for short periods of time to allow the person to make alternative arrangements to meet their rent costs. I am aware that there is currently information being circulated through social network sites advising that anybody affected by the 'bedroom tax' can have the shortfall met by DHPs. This information is simply not true. The amount of money that the DWP have allowed for DHPs is a fraction of the reduction in HB caused by the 'bedroom tax'. So most applicants would be unsuccessful.
  5. Hi there, I'm hoping somebody will be able to offer me a little bit of advice. I've recently changed jobs, and in my final pay my employers didn't include several hundred pounds of shift allowance I should have had for my last run of night shifts. I chased a number of times, and was eventually told (by e-mail, so I have this in writing) that the outstanding overtime would be paid in the next pay run. When this didn't happen, I again chased it up, and was subsequently advised that my shift allowance was discretionary, and that as I was allowed full pay for a couple of emergency operations I had the previous year (as opposed to the statutory sick pay I was contractually entitled to) that in light of this they wouldn't be honouring my shift allowance payment. I don't yet have this confirmed in writing from them, but I have requested it. I've checked my contract, and it doesn't make any mention of overtime payments. Does anybody know if I'd be likely to have any redress if I were to pursue this through small claims or similar, I'm guessing chiefly on the grounds of the previous statement from them advising I would be paid? Thanks in advance.
  6. I am disabled and moved From IB to ESA support group but have been placed into contribution based ESA. I have now lost cold weather payments,Warm home discount,Budgiting loans ,In fact most extra help has been taken away from me. I now have to find £12 a week rent and £20 a month council tax. I have now due to the changes ended up in fuel poverty. I cannot afford to pay the extra bedroom tax and council tax. I have written down the above in the Discretionary payment application. My question is do the council have the right to ask for my weekly income & expenditure statement. They are well aware of my benefits as I have to produce documents to them to claim housing benefit and council tax.I have my esa and thats it.It just seems so degrading to have to list every penny I spend.And certainly If a DCA asked for this information in the past I have told them to go take a run and jump, Thanks
  7. Hi All, I recently applied for a discretionary housing payment after my rent arrears hit £600. I've been awarded a payment from April 2012 to September 2013. I've been informed by my landlord that they (my local council) have so far made a payment of £1,100 for the period 12th April 2012 to 17th March 2013, then payments will be made monthly until September 2013. My question is regarding the money I struggled to pay during this period. Although I fell into arrears, I still made payments (for my son who is unwell but not in receipt of any benefits as he refuses to leave the house or claim any form of benefits)to my landlord and wanted to know if there is anyway I can claim this back. (the money I paid during the period, not the DHP money) I don't mean to sound greedy but I had to sell my washing machine and fridge to make payments on the rent and struggles to pay other bills and food when all along there was help out there for me. My son is now receiving help from social services so fingers crossed he will be on the road to recovery. I hope the above makes sense and am greatful for any help you can offer. Thank you.
  8. Hi i have recently moved to a hostel/hotel that accepts dss. its licenced rather than rented which means they can throw me out any time they like. my full rent is not covered i am short each week by 36 pound. ive been there approx 3 months. ive found out i can apply for discretionary payments. and if accepted get it backdated. problem is according to hostel rules, they keep any backdating as 'credit' i.e if i dont pay the shortfall they take it out of the credit. ive had to kill myself to get the shortfall paid. im sure its illegal for them to do that but basically they can just throw me out . can i ask discertionary payment department 9if accepted) to pay the backdated cash to me (as long as i prove its been paid?) the hostel made me sign a form to make sure hb payments went straight to them? and they can phone up if its stopped ive thought of tranferring the payments back over to myself and paying up front for a month, till discretionary payments come through, but im sure if i did that the hostel would phone up hb and find out what ive done, theyre canny crooks form what i gather need advice backdated money amount to 500 pounds which i could use to get a room somewhere. thanks in advance
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