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Discretionary housing payments policy (DHP)

If the amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you are entitled to is not enough to pay your full rent, you can apply for extra help. This help is known as a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

Awards of DHP are paid with your Housing Benefit, unless you are receiving Universal Credit in which case payments will be made separately.


In certain limited circumstances, DHP may also be awarded to pay a rent deposit on a new home, or the removal costs when you move.


To be eligible for any award of DHP, you must already be in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

Being in receipt of one of these benefits does not guarantee an award, as the DHP scheme has a limited amount of money each year.

In coming to a decision we consider a wide range of circumstances including:

  • The reason for the shortfall between your benefit and your rent
  • Your income and expenses
  • As well as your family circumstances
  • Including any health problems or disabilities

Awards are usually made for a short term period to help you through a specific financial crisis.
During the period of the award, it is important that you try to help your situation yourself:

  • By increasing your income
  • Negotiating a lower rent with your landlord
  • Or moving to a more affordable property

In certain limited circumstances, such as where your property has been extensively adapted to cater for a disability, longer awards may be considered.


As with any other benefit award, if there has been a change to your circumstances since DHP was awarded, you are responsible for telling us as soon as possible to prevent any overpayment of benefit.


There is no appeal against a DHP decision.
If you do not agree with our decision, you may ask us, in writing, to look at the decision again.
Your application will then be reviewed by a panel of senior officers, whose decision will be final.


To apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment please complete theDiscretionary Housing Payment application and return it to your local council office.
If you are in receipt of the housing element of Universal Credit, you will also need to complete the following DHP insert form 

Please make sure that you include as much information as possible about why you need this extra help.
For more detailed information please read our DHP policy or contact us.

These can be found in the download section.


Call Us:

0300 456 0110

Please send your enquiries to:

Benefits Service

Wiltshire Council

Monkton Park


SN15 1ER




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Last updated: 23 November 2016 | Last reviewed: 23 November 2016