If you are entitled to some help towards your rent or Council Tax, you may be able to apply for an additional award known as a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). DHPs are paid on top of Housing and Council Tax Benefit to people who find that the shortfall between their benefit and their housing costs causes them exceptional hardship.
DHPs can only be paid up to the maximum amount of Council Tax or eligible rent that is due, and cannot be paid for some service charges included in the rent, for example water charges. They are also only intended to be a temporary top up, so will not be paid indefinitely. You may be able to negotiate a lower rent with your landlord, or may have to consider finding alternative accommodation that you can afford.
The amount of money the Council is allowed for DHPs is limited, awards are made at the Council's discretion, and each application will be considered on it's own merits.
You must make any application for a Discretionary Housing Payment in writing, giving us the reasons why you cannot afford the shortfall between your benefit and your housing costs. We will notify you of our decision in writing. If we turn you down you can ask us to consider your application again, but there is no formal right of appeal.
Please download the DHP form (207kb) here.