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Discretionary Housing Payment **Updated April 2015**

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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

Edited by stu007

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Claiming Discretionary Housing Payment - Housing Benefit Claimant Factsheet was published 7th January 2014 and can be downloaded from this link:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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DISCRETIONARY HOUSING PAYMENT

 

SOURCES OF INTEREST

 

DWP - (2013a) Discretionary Housing Payments: Guidance Manual.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/184207/discretionary-housing-payments-guide.pdf

 

DWP - (2013b) News Release, 30 July 2013 Spare Room Subsidy: Funding Update.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/spare-room-subsidy-funding-update

 

DWP - (2013c) Housing Benefit Circular S6/2013.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hb-circular-s62013-discretionary-housing-payments

 

DWP - (2013d) Use of Discretionary Housing Payments. Analysis of Mid-Year Returns from Local Authorities.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/268411/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-dec13.pdf

 

DWP - (2014) Housing Benefit Circular HBS1/2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275971/s1-2014.pdf

 

Hansard - (2013) HC Deb 5 Dec 2013 : Column 1101 Autumn Statement.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131205/debtext/131205-0001.htm#13120554000002

 

Scotsman - (2013) SNP Faces Showdown over Bid to Beat Bedroom Tax, 3 February 2013.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/snp-faces-showdown-over-bid-to-beat-bedroom-tax-1-3292222

 

Scottish Affairs Committee - (2013) Scottish Affairs Committee - Fourth Report. The impact of the Bedroom Tax in Scotland: Interim Report. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmscotaf/288/288.pdf

 

Scottish Government - (2013) A Budget for Scotland’s Future. News Release, 11 September 2013.

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/A-Budget-for-Scotland-s-Future-400.aspx

 

Scottish Government - (2014a) Discretionary Housing Payments in Scotland: 1 April to 31 December 2013.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0044/00443672.pdf

 

Scottish Government - (2014b) Scrap ‘Bedroom Tax’ help cap. News Release, Monday 4 February.

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scrap-Bedroom-Tax-help-cap-8ee.aspx

 

Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee - (2013a) 19th Meeting 2013, Session 4, Official Report, Tuesday 19 November 2013.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8658&mode=pdf

 

Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee - (2014) 1st Report (Session 4) 2014: Interim Report on the Bedroom Tax. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/72586.aspx

 

Welsh Affairs Committee (2013) Fourth Special Report - The Impact of Changes to Housing Benefit in Wales.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmwelaf/1012/101202.htm

Edited by stu007

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1524 days.

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