Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit which helps people on a low income pay their rent.
Housing Benefit is means tested. This means that we have to take into account your income, savings and investments when deciding whether you are entitled.
You can find information about how to claim Housing Benefit on the gov.uk website. Alternatively contact us if you want to make a claim.
There is a limit on the amount of benefit a household can get. This is called the benefit cap.
Tenants under-occupying social housing will have their Housing Benefit payments reduced if the home is considered to be too large for the household's needs.
You must tell us straight away if you have any changes in circumstances.
Change of address
If you are receiving Housing Benefit you can notify us if you are moving within or out of the borough. Once we receive details we will suspend benefit payments at your old address . If your new address is within the borough we will send you another form which requests further information relating to your new rental liability at your new address if it is within the borough.
Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
Discretionary housing payments are paid from a limited amount of money that central government gives to us every year. We can pay it to people with special financial or personal circumstances which indicate that they need extra help to pay their rent. We have to consider each case individually and on its own merit.
A Discretionary Housing Payment is not automatically awarded because your housing benefit does not cover your rent. DHP is not a benefit. It is a separate payment made at our discretion. Payments are usually made for a limited period to assist whilst the claimant seeks a longer-term solution. This could include obtaining cheaper accommodation, obtaining employment and/or increasing the number of hours worked.
See our discretionary housing payment policy.
Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
You can only apply if you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Or if you are awaiting a decision on an application for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
When applying, you will need to explain why the payment is needed. Some examples include:
- financial problems
- a medical condition
- the risk of being made homeless
- impact of changes to benefits
It is important that all relevant information and evidence is included with your application.