Discretionary Housing Payments

The Discretionary Housing Payment scheme was introduced to assist Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claimants who may need further help with their housing costs. It replaces the Exceptional Hardship and Exceptional Circumstances payments scheme.

The Council receives limited funds from the Government for the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. The amount we can spend on the scheme each year will be restricted and not everyone who claims a Discretionary Housing Payment will be awarded a payment.

Who can claim a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You must be receiving some Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Benefit to be eligible to claim Discretionary Housing Payment but you cannot receive more than the shortfall in your weekly eligible rent or weekly Council Tax liability after taking into account your benefit entitlement.

The amount awarded is entirely at the discretion of the Council but a Discretionary Housing Payment cannot help you with any ineligible service charges such as heating, lighting, hot water and other fuel costs or charges for water rates, sewerage and environmental charges.

You cannot receive a Discretionary Housing Payment to make up for any reduction in other social security benefits as a result of any sanctions applied by Jobcentreplus.

Each case must be considered on its own merits. We will look at the individual circumstances of your claim and will consider the other options available to you before deciding whether to award a Discretionary Housing Payment.

To apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, you will need to complete a form. If you meet the criteria as set out by the Comhairle’s DHP Policy (99.4kB) you can apply by completing a DHP Application (124.2kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) .

Once your form has been received, it will be looked at by the Assessments Section. You will be notified in writing of the outcome.

If the outcome of your request is unsuccessful, you can ask us to look at you request again, and supply any information in support of your request.

As this fund is discretionary, you do not have the right of appeal against a decision made.