Help with housing costs

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Posted on23 Nov 2020

This month’s update from Martin Bell, Money and Benefits Advisor covers the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme administered by local authorities. This scheme can provide help to a someone who requires further financial assistance towards their housing costs.

Eligibility

To be eligible to claim a DHP, a applicant needs to have an entitlement to either Housing Benefit (HB), or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit (UCHC).

The shortfalls of HB or UCHC that a DHP can cover include:

  • reductions in HB or UCHC where a benefit cap has been applied
  • reductions in HB or UC due to a bedroom restriction.
  • non-dependant deductions in HB, or housing cost contributions in UC
  • income taper reductions
  • any policy that limits the maximum benefit award to two children
  • and any other policy change that limits the maximum amount of HB or UCHC.

A DHP application is made be via the local authority’s online claim form and can be accepted from anyone who is acting on a person’s behalf. The local authority requires an explanation of the reasons for the application, and a full breakdown of the household’s current income and expenditure.

Once a DHP application has been submitted you will need to provide the information required within one month of the application date. The local authority requires evidence of income, capital and expenditure. You may also have to supply any other information necessary to support the application.

As the DHP decision process is a discretionary one, not all applications are successful. If you require any assistance with the DHP process, please get in touch as each individual circumstance needs to be carefully considered before an application is made.

Since March Martin has supported over 100 residents to secure additional financial support and unclaimed benefit amounting to annualised total of £527,451.