Discretionary Housing Payment Application

Discretionary Housing Payment Guidance Notes


This application form should only be completed if you are receiving Universal Credit which includes an element for housing costs towards a rental liability.

If you are receiving Housing Benefit and would like to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment please contact our Customer Service Centre for assistance on 01642 393829.


What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments are payments to help people with their housing costs when their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit payments still leave them struggling to pay their rent. These are not intended to be long term ongoing payments; they are awarded on a short term basis while action is taken to improve their circumstances.

Discretionary Housing Payments are strictly limited each year and will usually be paid to the landlord or agent.


What Discretionary Housing Payments can I apply for?

Weekly Award

If your payment for housing costs from Universal Credit is lower than your rent you can apply for a weekly award to help meet the shortfall. However, we may not pay the full shortfall.

Discretionary Housing Payments cannot be awarded for;

• Ineligible services included such as; meals, heating, lighting, hot water or water rates.

• Shortfalls due to overpayment recovery and benefit sanctions.

• Shortfalls in Council Tax Support.


Lump Sum Award

If you are under threat of homelessness due to rent arrears, or need help with costs to obtain or move to a more affordable home you can apply for a lump sum award.

When you complete the form we will need to know why you think you should get an additional payment towards your rent, what your circumstances are, any action you have taken to help yourself and anything else you think may help us make a decision. Please contact Housing Options on 01642 528389 who can offer advice and help you apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if needed.


What will I need to tell you?

You should supply as much detail as possible so that we fully understand your situation.

You will also need to tell us about all the money you have coming into your household (income) and all the money you pay out each week (expenditure).

You will also need to provide your benefit award letter detailing any deductions that are being made from your benefit, examples include social fund loans, water, fines, etc. When completing the form you will be advised if further evidence is needed.


How will the benefits section make a decision about Discretionary Housing Payments?

When you have completed and returned the form we will consider all aspects of your circumstances before we decide if we can award you a Discretionary Housing Payment.

We will consider all requests while trying to ensure that payments are made to those most in need according to our Discretionary Housing Payment Policy. Each case will be treated strictly on its merits and all claimants will be treated equally and fairly.

Wherever possible and reasonable to do so, you will be expected to take steps to improve the circumstances that have led to the need for a discretionary payment, for example - finding more affordable accommodation.


I want to apply.

If you wish to proceed with an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment, please complete all sections of this application form and submit it to the Council.

The application form should only be completed if you are receiving Universal Credit which includes an element for housing costs.

If you need help to fill in the application form call our helpline on 01642 393829 or call into your Customer Service Centre.


Changes you must tell us about straight away.

Reported changes in circumstances can reduce or end your Discretionary Housing Payment award early, therefore Stockton Revenues, Benefits and Welfare Service must be advised of all changes as they occur.

Please note that it may also be necessary for you to advise the Department for Work and Pensions about changes in circumstances that affect your Universal Credit.

For further information refer to your Universal Credit award letter.


If you are awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment and we later find out you should not have been entitled to it, we will ask you to return the money. Where fraud is suspected, the matter will be investigated appropriately which may lead to action being taken against you.

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