If you are struggling to pay your rent then you may be able to receive extra help by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

You can claim a DHP if you already get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, but need more help to meet your rental costs.

We may award Discretionary Housing Payments for several reasons, for example:

  • rent eligible for benefit has been restricted because of the bedroom tax
  • the benefit cap has been applied
  • there is exceptional financial hardship


How to apply

 To apply for a DHP, you need to complete our online form

 When you apply for a DHP, you will need to provide:

  • your last 2 months bank statements for all accounts, showing all transactions
  • proof of any debts you have listed on your application form
  • proof of any medical conditions
  • an up to date rent statement showing any rent arrears you owe

What happens next?

 We will look at your application once we have received all the information. We will then write to you explaining the decision and tell you how you will receive payments, if you are awarded extra help.

DHPs are generally short term awards to give you try and secure a solution to your financial situation or alternative, affordable accommodation.

What happens if I do not agree with your decision?

 DHPs do not have any official appeal rights. However, you can ask for us to look at the decision again.  To do this, you will need to put this in writing. You will need to include:

  • the reason you disagree with the decision
  • any other factors that you think are important
  • any evidence to support your request


There is no right of appeal against a Discretionary Housing Payment decision but you may be able to apply for a Judicial Review in the High Court. You will need to seek legal advice on this.

If you are unhappy with how your claim was handled, you can make a formal complaint to the council. If you still think your complaint has not been handled correctly, you should contact the local government ombudsman.