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Discretionary Housing Payment - What is Discretionary Housing Payment?

Find out more about Discretionary Housing Payments.

What is Discretionary Housing Payment?

Discretionary Housing Payment is a payment you may receive at the discretion of your local authority which can help towards housing costs. You can only get it if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

It is available to people who are not receiving enough to cover their rent. There can be several reasons for this, for example:

  • your Local Housing Allowance is lower than your rent in private rented property

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced because of non-dependant deductions/housing costs contributions

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced because you are working age and it has been decided that you have a spare bedroom in social rented property

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced due to the Benefit Cap

Discretionary Housing Payment is also available for one-off costs like a rent deposit, rent in advance or removal costs to help you move into a new home.

Discretionary Housing Payment can not be used to cover an increase in rent due to arrears or to make up the difference if an overpayment is being recovered from your Housing Benefit. It also can't help to cover certain sanctions or reductions in benefit.

Applies to: England, Wales and Scotland.

Age rules: There are no age rules that affect Discretionary Housing Payment entitlement. However, you must be old enough to have a legally enforceable liability for rent.

Taxable: No

Administered by: Your local authority

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