Discretionary payments

We can consider awarding a Discretionary Housing Payment (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)

We can consider awarding a 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.

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


Please complete and return the Discretionary Housing Payments form to us.

Alternatively, please contact us or call 01883 7220000 to ask for an application form. When completing the form 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.


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.

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