Discretionary Housing Payments

If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs doesn't cover all of your rent and you are having difficulty paying the shortfall, you may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help.

For example, a DHP can help with:

  • Restrictions that make your maximum rent for Housing Benefit purposes lower than your actual rent.
  • Local Housing Allowance restrictions, such as the maximum number of bedrooms your benefit can pay for.
  • Difficulty paying even though your income is above the level the Government says you need.

You may also be able to get a DHP if you are looking for more affordable accommodation and need help with a deposit, rent in advance or removal costs. 

You can't get a DHP to cover: 

  • Service charges. 
  • Charges for gas, electricity, water or sewage. 
  • Any rent arrears you already have before you apply. 
  • Benefits that you are paying back because you have been overpaid.

Apply for a DHP

On the form, you need to give us information about your income, outgoings and personal circumstances, to help us decide whether we can give you a DHP. The form asks for details of:

  • Your total spend on bills and household costs.
  • Any savings you have. 
  • Your health and any disabilities. 
  • Anyone else in the household who could help. 
  • Any changes you could make to how you manage your money. 

Getting a DHP

If your application for a DHP is successful, how much you receive depends on your circumstances. We will write to you to let you know:

  • How much DHP you will receive. 
  • How it will be paid.
  • How long we will pay it for.

A DHP is usually paid for a limited period of time, depending on your circumstances. This will give you a little extra time to try to: 

  • Renegotiate a lower rent with your landlord.
  • Seek financial advice for existing debts.
  • Move to a more affordable property. 
  • Find paid employment.
  • Increase your working hours.

If you disagree with our decision

If you disagree with our decision not to give you DHP, or with the amount, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. You must do this within one calendar month of receiving our decision letter. You need to write to us explaining why you do not agree with our decision. A different officer will review the decision.

You should write to:

Revenues and Benefits
Business Hub 16
Aberdeen City Council
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB

As this decision is discretionary you have no right to appeal and our final decision will stand.

If you need to speak with someone about benefits and money advice, we will be happy to help.

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