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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

What can a Discretionary Housing Payment be used for?

A Discretionary Housing Payment may be paid if:


  • the rent used to work out your housing benefit is less than the rent you have to pay because it has been restricted by the Rent Officer
  • the Local Housing Allowance is less than the rent you have to pay
  • a non dependant deduction is being made from your Housing Benefit
  • your income is more than the amount the government says you need (your applicable amount) and your benefit is less as a result
  • you have had to pay a rent deposit or rent in advance
  • you have had to pay out money because of a housing need such as a moving expense
  • where your eligible rent has been restricted due to the social sector size criteria

A Discretionary Housing Payment will not be paid:

  • if your housing benefit is the same amount as the rent you have to pay, or your local council tax support is the same amount as the council tax you have to pay
  • for amounts included in your rent such as water rates, gas, electricity or food. These are known as “ineligible service charges” and you cannot get housing benefit to cover these
  • where your landlord has put your rent up because you have rent arrears
  • where your housing benefit is being reduced because you owe money for an earlier overpayment
  • where your benefit is being reduced because you have not gone to an interview set up by the Department for Work and Pensions, or you have committed benefit fraud in the past

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