A DHP is a short term emergency payment whilst you consider your future housing options- normally no longer than three months. It should not be considered as a permanent way round any current or future entitlement restrictions set out within the Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) scheme.
Before a DHP can be awarded:
- You must already be entitled to Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC)
- You must require additional help with your housing costs i.e have a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement
- You must have already spoken with your housing provider about your rent payments
- The Council must have sufficient funds available to cover the cost of DHP
DHP cannot be used for:
- Ineligible service charges for HB
- Increase in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
- Sanctions and reductions in benefit
- Council Tax support through the local Council Tax reduction scheme
In deciding whether to award a DHP, we take into account:
- The shortfall between Housing Benefit and the housing component of UC and the contractual rent
- The income and expenditure of you and your household
- Any savings or capital that might be held by you or your household
- Any steps taken to reduce your rental liability. For example, you have tried or are you actively seeking alternative cheaper accommodation
- Any future changes in circumstances that will lead to an increase in HB entitlement or UC entitlement
- Did you find out what your Local Housing Allowance would be before moving into the property?
- Were you aware of any restrictions on HB as a result of under occupation?
- Have you applied for all available sources of income to you?
- The level of indebtedness and committed expenditure of you and your family
How to apply
You can make an application online at benefit forms on line
You must also provide evidence of your current expenditure.
You can get advice on claiming a Discretionary Housing payment by contacting the Help with rent Team via their website www.helpwithrent.org.uk/ (external link)or contacting them on 0845 120 2093.
Wigan Council Discretionary Housing Payment policy from April 2013 (.pdf, 23kb)