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Apply for Discretionary and/or Exceptional Hardship Payments

Extra financial help for those in receipt of Housing Benefit OR Universal Credit

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) can help with rent and an Exceptional Hardship Payment (EHP) can help with Council Tax.

There is a very limited amount of money available each year for Discretionary (DHP) and Exceptional Hardship Payments (EHP) to those in receipt of Housing Benefit OR Universal Credit.

However, it must be realised that because of the limited amount of money available there is no guarantee applicants will receive any extra help through the DHP / EHP scheme.

Before making a decision on any application we receive, we will consider all the factors involved including the following:

  • What makes your circumstances different, exceptional or critical.
  • Whether a payment will provide real help to your situation.
  • How long you need the help for and whether there are other ways to help your financial situation.
  • How much you will receive.

Submitting your application

IMPORTANT - To avoid any delay in processing your claim it is important that you read the following notes to check your entitlement to a DHP or EHP and that you can supply all the evidence needed to support your claim.

The award of a DHP or EHP is meant to be a short term solution to help you find cheaper accommodation or look at ways of improving and managing your finances. How much you get depends on the circumstances of your household.

You can apply for extra help if the amount of Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support is less than the rent or Council Tax you have to pay.

You cannot apply for a DHP/ EHP to help pay the following:

  • Service charges within the rent charge that are not covered by the benefit scheme - such as heating, lighting, hot water, and other fuel costs or water rates, sewerage or other environmental costs.
  • Deductions from any benefit as a result of sanctions to Jobseekers Allowance, Child Support or other benefit related offences.
  • Suspended payments of Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support.

Submit an application

Evidence you need to provide: If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you will need to provide us with your most recent award statement as we need to see all elements awarded and the deductions taken from your Universal Credit & 2 Months bank statements.

DHP one-off payments to cover rent deposits, rent in advance and moving costs

IMPORTANT - To avoid any delay in processing your claim it is important that your read the following notes.

We can consider assistance with deposits and rent in advance if this means that you can move to an affordable home. You will be required to provide proof of your property move and the funds requested. Please be advised that this is not a guaranteed assistance and you must be in receipt of local authority housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit at the time of your expected move.

Some social housing landlords do offer financial incentives for people who wish to move and downsize their properties. In line with this DHP can be considered to help you with removal costs to your new property even if this is out of the area.

It is important that you liaise with your landlord by visiting the Landlord websites and speaking to your housing officer to discuss your options.

When awarding a DHP for a rent deposit or rent in advance we will need to be satisfied

  • That your intended property is affordable
  • There is a valid reason to move home
  • The deposit and/or rent in advance costs are reasonable

We will require the following information to be provided within 14 days of submitting this application.

  • A letter from your intended Landlord/Letting Agent to confirm that you will be offered the property, the total amount required and the bank details for payment to be made directly.
  • Your most recent bank statements for ALL accounts you currently hold
  • Your most recent Universal Credit Breakdown (if applicable)
  • At least 2 quotes from removal companies if you are requesting assistance with removal costs

Submit an application