I am seeking information about eligible applicants who applied
unsuccessfully for Discretionary Housing Payments at your council in
the most recent financial year (April 1 2015 to March 31 2016).
By “eligible applicants,” I mean DHP applicants who were in receipt of
housing benefit at the time of their applications and who applied for
a Discretionary Housing Payment for help with housing payment problems
that DHPs can be used to cover (for example, the bedroom tax, rent
shortfall due to LHA caps, rent in advance and tenancy deposit
Could you send me answers to these questions:
1) How many applications for Discretionary Housing Payments were made
to your council by eligible applicants in the 2015-2016 financial
2) How many of those applications were rejected/unsuccessful?
3) What were the five main reasons that eligible DHP applicants had
their DHP applications turned down in the 2015-2016 financial year?
4) If one of the reasons that eligible applicants were turned down was
that application forms were not adequately completed, could you please
let me know:
-if the council follows up inadequately completed forms with
applicants and how – does the council contact applicants to ask for
missing information, or offer a service to help applicants fill in
forms correctly if they have support needs?
- what information do applicants in these cases generally not include
– is it supporting information (such as bank statements) that is left
out, or do people not complete fields in the application forms?
5) Does your council restrict the number of DHP awards an applicant
can receive? If Yes, how many awards can an eligible applicant
receive? Are they excluded from multiple applications even if their
financial circumstances remain the same/don’t improve?
6) Are DHPs ever awarded to applicants who do not complete your formal
application forms – for example, will your council award DHPs to
applicants whose councillors or support workers apply on their behalf
by email or phone call? If Yes, how many DHPs were awarded that way in
the 2015-2016 financial year?
7) Did your council exceed its government Discretionary Housing
Payment allocation in the 2015-2016 financial year? Did your council
top up its government allocation?
8) How many applications for Discretionary Housing Payments were made
to your council by eligible applicants in the 2014-2015 financial
Please see attached a response to your information request.