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Discretionary housing payments

You may be able to get extra help to pay your rent.

Discretionary Housing Payment is paid from a limited amount of money that central Government gives to the council every year. The council can give it to people who need extra help to pay their rent on top of their normal entitlement to Housing Benefit (HB) or the housing element of Universal Credit (UC).

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Who can claim DHP?

To get extra help with your rent you must already get some HB or the housing element of UC, but still have to pay some rent yourself.

We would expect people who are claiming DHP to have made efforts to:

  • negotiate a lower rent with their landlord;
  • look at cheaper alternative accommodation
  • seek help from the Housing Options Team to find a solution to the shortfall between the rent and the HB or UC.

How much help can I get?

It depends on your circumstances. There are no set rules about how much to give people. It will usually only be paid if you have special financial or personal circumstances. The extra money would also help to improve these circumstances.

We cannot pay you more than your eligible rent costs. Some people may not get any extra help at all. DHP may only be awarded for a fixed period of time and can be withdrawn at any time. In some cases we will award DHP for a limited period to give customers time to find alternative accommodation that they can afford.

What DHP cannot cover

We cannot give you discretionary housing payments to:

  • Cover some charges that may be included in your rent that you could not get housing benefit for, such as money for gas and electricity, water rates, meals or service charges.
  • Cover any shortfall in your housing benefit or Universal Credit because you are paying back an overpayment.

Claiming DHP

The way you need to claim DHP depends on which benefit are you getting to help you pay your rent? Please see the details below.

Universal Credit housing cost element

If you are getting Universal Credit housing cost element you should

  • download and print the DHP for Universal Credit forms from the benefit forms page.
  • contact us and ask for an application form; or
  • pick up a form from Merton Link on the ground floor of the Civic Centre in Morden. Staff on Merton Link will be able to print off a copy for you using the link above.

Housing Benefit

If you are getting Housing Benefit you should

  • download and print the DHP for Housing Benefit application form from the benefit forms page.
  • contact us and ask for an application form; or
  • pick up a form from Merton Link on the ground floor of the Civic Centre in Morden. Staff on Merton Link will be able to print off a copy for you using the link above.

Contact us

For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.

See also

Related links

This page was last updated on Monday 31 October 2016

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