How Can I Apply For Discretionary Housing Payment?

Discretionary Housing Payments provide additional financial support to individuals on benefits (specific benefits apply) to meet housing costs beyond the scope of their income. Through this blog post, we will learn about the process of applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment and the key factors that one needs to keep in view regarding personal information to be declared, important documents to be used as support; as well as eligibility criteria for the payment. 

How Can I Apply For Discretionary Housing Payment?

You can apply for a discretionary housing payment online, through the website of your local council authority. In some cases, councils may require you to send a written application while others may be willing to take your details over a phone conversation and process your application. In either case, before you start with your application, you might need to keep the following information available to provide relevant details;

  • Benefit case number
  • Council tax account number
  • National insurance number

In order to support your claim, you will need to provide the council authorities with the following documents:

  • latest payslip if you are in a job
  • your partner’s most recent payslip (if you have a partner and they are working)
  • bank account statements (you and your partner)
  • proof of any loans that you may have undertaken, credit card payments due or an ongoing hire purchase agreement
  • written communication between you and your landlord regarding rent arrears
  • receipts of  extraordinary expenses
  • medical evidence if you have been ill recently

While making your claim for a DHP, you may also be required to share whether you are receiving the mobility element of disability living allowance as it will be used for the calculation of the amount that can be awarded to you through the DHP.

Who Is Eligible For Discretionary Housing Payment?

Anyone who is claiming the housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. Additionally, their personal situation must include one of the following circumstances:

  • the amount of rent that is used to calculate your Housing Benefit is comparatively less than the rent that you actually pay due to a restriction by the Rent Officer
  • the Local Housing Allowance assigned to your housing band  is less than the amount of rent that you have to pay
  • the amount of rent that you qualify for is restricted on the basis of the social sector size 
  • tour Housing Benefit claim accounts for a non-dependant deduction
  • you earn more than the amount set by the government due to which your benefit payment is reduced
  • you need to pay advance rent, a rent deposit or a moving expense

How Will My DHF Application be Assessed?

As the Department for Work and Pensions takes your application for Discretionary Housing Payment under consideration, they will evaluate it on the basis of the following factors before approving your application:

  • the date when a claimant’s tenancy agreement is supposed to end 
  • whether or not they will be able to agree to lower rent in discussion with their landlord
  • whether or not the claimant was able to afford the rent when the tenancy started 
  • whether they have any other ongoing debts and if the claimant has tried to reduce or repay them
  • whether or not the claimant can reduce repayments of other debts such as credit cards
  • whether the claimant is in a position to reduce non-essential expenses
  • whether they can increase their income or divert the current one towards payment of rent and council tax
  • any efforts that are being made by the claimant to pay their rent and council tax through their own means
  • if there are circumstantial changes anticipated in the near future that may increase the claimant’s income
  • if the claimant or a family member is faced with health-related issues that prevent them from their house

Despite a successful assessment and an individual meeting the qualifying requirements for  DHP, there are times when applications can be refused. One of the many reasons for a refusal can be the fact that the individual has been found guilty of claim fraud in the past or their rent was increased by the landlord due to previous arrears.


The above discussion outlines the process of applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment. It can conveniently be carried out either through a phone call, email, written letter or by filling out an online application form on your council’s website. In either case, you must be prepared to share relevant details of your income and savings when you apply for a Discretionary Housing Benefit and should either be claiming the housing element of Universal Credit or be receiving Housing Benefit payments. 

FAQs: How Can I Apply For Discretionary Housing Payment?

What evidence is needed for Discretionary Housing Payment?

You will need to provide details of your income and savings as evidence to claim Discretionary Housing Payment. Some of the important documents include payslips, bank account statements, as well as information regarding loans and credit cards; belonging to you and your partner (if you have one and they are working).

Can I get a discretionary payment on Universal Credit?

Yes, you can get a discretionary payment on Universal Credit. In fact, you must be a Housing Benefit claimant or receiving the housing element of Universal Credit to qualify for a discretionary payment.

How long does it take to hear back about a Discretionary Housing Payment?

It usually takes two weeks for authorities to make a decision regarding your Discretionary Housing Payment application. Once it is approved you will either receive payments along with your Hiusing Benefit claim or through your council tax account.

Is DHP a one-off payment?

Varying on a case to case basis, DHP can be paid as a one-off payment or at regular intervals. However, the frequency of payment will not change the total amount that a claimant is eligible for.

Can the council give me a loan?

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a loan from your council office or even an interest-free loan through a government scheme.


Application for DHP