Discretionary housing payments
Extra help with paying your housing costs
Return the completed form to the Benefits unit. When your form is received, a benefit officer will contact you to arrange an interview to gather all the documents and information we need.
Or, you can ask for an appointment with a benefit officer to help you make a claim at one of our offices in Worksop or Retford.
What to do if you disagree with the decision?
You will receive a letter explaining if your request has been successful.
If you disagree with the decision, you have no ‘right of appeal’ as it is not a payment of benefit. However, you can ask us to look at the decision again.
You should write to us straight away, telling us why you think the decision is wrong.
What if my circumstances change?
If your circumstances change, you will need to notify the Benefits unit straight away.
Tell us about any changes to you or your partner’s income, investments, savings, benefits as well as changes in your rent. You also need to tell us if anyone joins or leaves your household.
You must tell us within a month of a change happening.
When we receive information about a change, we will check that you have the right award of Housing Benefit first and then check any DHP awards we have made to you.
Telephone: 01909 533710 (Mon-Fri, 8:40am-5:00pm)
Write to us or visit us at:
Bassetlaw District Council
What are discretionary housing payments (DHPs)?
Discretionary housing payments are extra payments to help you pay your rent.
The Government gives the Council a limited amount of money each year for the fund. We have to decide who this money is paid to. These are not benefit payments and you should not rely on a payment being made.
They are usually made to help you for a short period, when you are in serious financial difficulty or have exceptional circumstances.
Who can apply for a discretionary housing payment?
You can apply for a DHP if you are entitled to Housing Benefit, and feel that you need more help with your housing costs.
What can a discretionary housing payment help with?
- If your Housing Benefit has reduced because you under-occupy your home and your home has been significantly adapted for a disabled person in the household.
- Your Housing Benefit entitlement has reduced as a result of the local housing allowance restrictions, such as restriction to a shared room rate because you are under 35 years of age.
- If you are struggling to pay your rent for example, due to non-dependant deductions.
- You have a temporary shortfall in your income and need help with housing costs.
- You may need help to move to cheaper accommodation and need a lump-sum award to do this, to help with;
- moving costs
- the bond/rent in advance
What discretionary housing payment cannot be paid for?
We cannot cover costs for fuel, water or sewerage charges if these are included in your rent. Also, charges for any meals that are included. A DHP cannot cover any reduction in Housing Benefit due to the recovery of an overpayment.
We will not usually pay DHPs if you can deal with your housing costs in other ways, for example by moving to cheaper accommodation or claiming other benefits. We may advise you of alternative help if we thought it could help you.
How decisions are made
The information you provide on your form and at the interview, will help us to decide whether you are eligible for a discretionary payment. We have to be satisfied that making a payment would help you resolve the difficulties you are having at the time.
We look at things like;
- Your income, savings and assets
- How reasonable your rent payments are
- If there is anyone else who is able to help you
- Any loans or debts you have
- If it is reasonable that you could manage your money better
- If the accommodation you are living in is suitable for your needs
- If you have tried to sort things out your self e.g. talked to a debt advisor
- If you or anyone in your family has any health problems
- If there is a genuine risk of eviction
- If you can move to cheaper suitable alternative accommodation.
As there is a set amount given to the Council each year for the fund, we also have to consider the limits of the funding. If we think you could get help from another agency, we will tell you how or refer you.
How much can I get and for how long?
Every request for a DHP is considered individually. The amount of any award and the length of the award is therefore dependent on individual circumstances.
We cannot pay more than your rent charge, if you need help with topping up your Housing Benefit.
As the fund is limited, we usually pay for a short period of time. The DHP scheme is intended to give you the chance to sort out your debts or give your some time to find cheaper accommodation. It is not a long term arrangement.
How will it be paid?
Usually, the payments will be paid with your Housing Benefit. Either directly to your rent account or directly into your bank account with your Housing Benefit, if you rent from a private landlord.
How to apply
Contact Benefits and they will send you a discretionary housing payments claim form.
Last Updated on Wednesday, October 12, 2022