Discretionary housing payments

If you are receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, but are still finding it hard to pay your rent, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

DHP’s are awarded as a short-term measure to help people while they make efforts to resolve their difficulties and we will target payments to those in greatest need.

You can apply for a DHP to help pay your rent if:

  • You are already receiving  Housing Benefit
  • Your Housing Benefit is below the full rent less any services  for which Housing Benefit cannot be paid such as heating charges or water rates
  • Special circumstances exist which mean you cannot pay the difference between your benefit and your full rent

How to apply for a DHP:

Please give as much information as possible to help us understand why you may qualify for a DHP 

When we can make a Discretionary Housing Payment:

  • If you have extra expenses due to special circumstances such as someone in your household being in hospital
  • If you experience temporary hardship due to loss of employment or loss of benefits when returning to work
  • If you are at risk of losing your home where we feel the award of a DHP would prevent this
  • If your Housing Benefit has been reduced due to the social sector size criteria (the bedroom tax) and you need help with the cost of moving to a smaller property

When we cannot make a payment:

This extra payment is not available for the following purposes:

  • To help with Council Tax
  • For water, meals, fuel or other ineligible service charges included in your rent
  • To cover any shortfall in Housing Benefit that occurs due to an overpayment being recovered
  • To pay a rent that is clearly excessive
  • To cover an increase in your rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • To cover the cost of certain sanctions and reductions in benefit e.g. a counter fraud punishment
  • If your Universal Credit does not include a Housing Element
  • Finding out if you are successful: If we decide that we can make a payment we will write to tell you how much you will be paid and for how long
  • If we decide that we cannot make a payment, we will write and tell you the reasons for our decision

If you disagree with the decision you can ask for us to look at the matter again. You will need to do this in writing within one month of the date of the decision letter stating clearly the reasons why you disagree.

You cannot appeal to the appeals service about a DHP decision.

If your circumstances change it is important that you tell us about it straightaway. Visit our change of circumstances section for further details.

Contact Information

Name of Team: Housing Benefits

Telephone : 01495 353398

Address: Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Email: benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk