Extra help and appeals

Discretionary Housing Payments

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Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are extra payments to help with your housing costs. They are not benefits. We get an amount of money each year from the Government to spend on DHPs, which is separate from the money we spend on benefits. We cannot spend more than the budget we are given.

DHP does not include help with Council Tax. This is available through the local Council Tax Support scheme and discretionary reduction for hardship.

Who can get a DHP?

You can apply for a DHP if you get:

  • Housing Benefit from Central Bedfordshire Council
  • the housing costs element of Universal Credit, and you live in Central Bedfordshire

However, we only have a limited budget for DHPs, so we cannot pay everyone who applies. We will decide whether to award you a DHP based on the information you have provided.

Applications are treated on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with our DHP policy (PDF 67.3KB) . Some applicants will be given priority because of their special circumstances.

Applicants who will be given priority for DHP

You will be given priority for a DHP if you or a member of your household is disabled, you have more bedrooms than the Housing Benefit / Universal Credit rules allow, and either:

  • your home has been adapted for your disablement needs
  • you cannot share a bedroom with your partner because of your disability
  • an issue related to your disability makes it difficult for you to move to a smaller or cheaper property

You will also be given priority if:

  • you are a foster carer (or your partner is), you have more bedrooms than the Housing Benefit / Universal Credit rules allow, and you need a bedroom for each foster child
  • you are fleeing domestic violence

What will DHPs cover?

DHPs can help with most housing costs. Some examples of housing costs that can be covered by DHPs are:

  • restrictions in Housing Benefit following the introduction of size criteria in the social rented sector
  • rent deposits or rent in advance if you are getting Housing Benefit and need to move home

We cannot pay you a DHP for:

  • service charges which are not eligible for Housing Benefit
  • when your Housing Benefit is suspended
  • when your Housing Benefit is reduced because of overpayments or sanctions
  • Council Tax

Apply for a DHP

The DHP application is separate from your benefits application.

You need to apply for a DHP in writing. You can download a DHP application form or contact us to have one sent to you by post.

If you are not happy with our decision, you can contact us to disagree with it in writing or electronically. DHPs are not payments of benefit and are therefore not subject to the statutory appeals process.

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8306
Email: benefits@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Please quote your benefit claim reference in all correspondence – your claim reference is either an 8 digit number starting with 900 or a 5 digit number. You can find it in any letter we’ve sent about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.