Discretionary Housing Payments
What are Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP's)?
Discretionary Housing Payments are additional
payments for people
currently receiving Housing Benefit who require further
assistance with their housing costs.
A limited budget is set by central government
on the amount that can be spent each year on Discretionary Housing
Payments. These payments, and the period for which they last,
are set at the discretion of Northumberland County Council.
If you are already getting all of your rent
paid by Housing Benefit you cannot get Discretionary Housing
What can a Discretionary Housing Payment cover?
A discretionary housing payment may be used to pay for:
- Your rent where it has been restricted by the
Rent Officer and your Housing Benefit award is less than the rent
- Reductions in your Housing Benefit
entitlement following changes to the Local Housing Allowance from
- Increases in essential work related
expenditure, such as increased fares to work if you have had to
move because you could no longer afford to live near your work
following a reduction in your Local Housing Allowance rate.
- A rent deposit or rent in advance for a
property that you are yet to move into if you are already entitled
to Housing Benefit for your present home.
Please note that these are only
examples of when we may pay a Discretionary Housing Payment.
If your circumstances are different you should still
Is there anything Discretionary Housing Payments would not be
We cannot give Discretionary Housing Payments
- Ineligible service charges
- Increases in rent due to outstanding
- Reductions in any benefit as a result of
Jobseeker’s sanctions, Child Support sanctions or sanctions
following certain benefit related offences
- Suspended Housing Benefit
- Rent, when you are getting Council Tax
Support but not Housing benefit
- Shortfalls caused by overpayment
How much can I get and for how long?
How much we give you depends on your
circumstances. We look at each case individually.
However, we cannot guarantee we will definitely give you a payment
even if you meet any of the reasons above.
For Housing Benefit, we cannot give you more
than your total rent (less amounts for services such as electricity
How do I apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment?
If you would like to claim a Discretionary
Housing Payment please telephone 0845 600 6400 or
contact us at the address below. Alternatively please print
and complete the application form below and return it to the
Benefits Section. Click here for a Discretionary Housing Payment
We will look at the following things
when we make a decision:
- Your income
- Your savings
- If anyone else in your house can help
- If you have any loans or debts
- If you could manage your money better
- If you or anyone in your family is ill or
- If you have tried to put the situation right
What should I do if I disagree with your decision?
Decisions on claims for Discretionary Housing
Payments are not subject to appeals to the Appeals Service.
If you disagree with the decision on your claim for a
Discretionary Housing Payment you should write to the council. The
decision will be reviewed by a different officer.
What if my circumstances change?
You should tell us immediately if your
circumstances change. If the change means we have to reduce
your Discretionary Housing Payment, you might have to pay back some
or all of the payment we have already paid you.
For further information or specific help with information on
this page, please contact us:
Northumberland County Council
Tel No 0845 600 6400
Fax No 01670 620098
General information may be available from the following
Department for Work and Pensions
If you would like any benefit document in a different format, or
if you need any help with language or translations please telephone
0845 600 6400 and we will do all we can to help.
You may also wish to use the facilities available on all of our
web pages including page translation, display and text size
options. Please see the links at the top of each web