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Discretionary Payments

We have two types of discretionary payments.

  1. Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme to help with housing costs. To claim this you you must receive housing benefit
  2. Council Tax Discretionary Payment (CTDP) to help pay Council Tax. To claim this you must get Council Tax Support

Woman's hands with a calculator and a pen

We prioritise the support we give to those who are least able to improve their financial situation. 

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) – we can consider awarding you a DHP if there is gap between the amount of rent you have to pay and the amount of housing benefit/Local Housing Allowance or Universal credit  you receive. The shortfall may be a result of:

  • Your housing benefit being restricted under the ‘maximum rent’ rules allowed due to the Local Housing Allowance
  • The household income level
  • A single or shared room restriction if the claimant is under 35
  • A benefit cap
  • An under-occupancy restriction. 

DHP can top-up housing benefit but the total amount cannot be more than you pay in rent. It cannot be given to cover service charges, which may be included in your rent, and other things such as water rates or a tenant’s levy. 

Our Discretionary housing payments policy gives more details about this award and the criteria we apply when considering applications.

Council Tax Discretionary Payment (CTDP) – if you are suffering severe financial hardship and cannot pay the difference between the council tax you are charged and the amount of council tax support you receive, we will consider a CTDP award. 

Council tax support discretionary fund payment provides more details about this award and the criteria we apply when considering applications. 


The amount of any discretionary award will depend on your individual circumstances. You will need to show you are suffering severe financial hardship because of the shortfall in your benefits. The award is a short-term measure and should not be relied on in the longer term. 

The funds available for DHP and CTDP awards are limited each year. Once these have been spent no awards can be made that financial year.

To apply

Please complete and return the Discretionary Housing Payments form to us. You must give a breakdown of your weekly expenditure and reasons why you are asking for extra financial help. We will assess your claim and write to you with our decision.

To apply for a Council Tax Discretionary Payment please contact or ring 01883 732900 to ask for an application form.