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Discretionary Payment Scheme

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What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

They are for people who live in Torridge.  They are paid by Torridge District Council.

If you live in another area please apply to your local council.

These payments can help if you are:

  • struggling to pay your rent and
  • you have unusual or extreme circumstances which are causing hardship or
  • you are having particular difficulty because of the effects of the under occupation rules for housing association tenants or the benefit cap rules.

There are no rules that give anyone a right to a payment. But we may be able to pay you if we believe that you need extra financial support.

The following questions and answers should help you in deciding what to do next. If you still have questions after reading what is set out below, please do not hesitate in contacting the benefits team.

  • What do you mean by Housing Costs ?

By 'housing costs' we mean your rent. It does not include service charges, fuel charges, water rates, meal charges or council tax. Housing costs can be interpreted more widely to include rent in advance, deposits or other lump sum costs associated with a housing need.

  • Is a DHP a payment of housing benefit ?

No. DHPs are funded from a separate grant.

  • If my application is successful, how much will I get and for how long?

The amount of award and the length of award will be decided on an individual basis.  The funding is subject to an annual cash limit, and therefore it is likely that any award of DHP will be awarded for short time while you are trying to resolve the difficulties you are experiencing.

  • What will you take into account when deciding whether or not an award of DHP can be made ?
  • Whether or not you knew the full rent would not be paid by housing benefit or housing costs within your Universal Credit award prior to moving into your home
  • Whether you have tried to find cheaper accommodation
  • Whether you or any member of your household suffer from health problems that would need to be taken into account
  • Whether you have any capital assets that would help you financially
  • How much your weekly income and 'reasonable' expenditure add up to. We will ask what type of expenditure.
  • Who applies for a Discretionary Housing Payment ?

The person who claimed housing benefit or housing costs within a claim for Universal Credit will need to complete an application form.

  • Then what happens ?

The Council will write to you and let you know of their decision. If your application is successful, you will be advised of the requirement for you to advise the Council of any future changes in circumstance that may be relevant to the award of DHP.

  • What happens if I apply and am not happy about the outcome of my application ?

This scheme is not part of the Housing Benefit scheme. The decision is not subject, therefore, to the same rights of appeal. However, if you are not happy with a decision you can write to the Council, giving your reasons, at which time the decision will be looked at again.


DHP Policy 2013 (PDF) [167KB]

DHP Application Form (PDF) [100KB]

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