Discretionary Housing Payments

Related Information

If you don't get full Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support you may be able to get additional help from the Discretionary Housing Payments Fund.

When are Discretionary Housing Payments made?

We look at each case on it’s merits. We might make an award if:

  • the rent used calculate your Housing Benefit has been restricted
  • you don't get full Housing Benefit because your income is too high 
  • you don't get maximum Council Tax Support because your income is too high 
  • you don't get full Housing or Council Tax Support because you have 'grown-up' children living with you (known as non-dependants)

We can’t make Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs):

  • to pay for water, meals, fuel or other ineligible service charges included in your rent 
  • to cover any shortfall in your Housing Benefit because we are recovering an overpayment
  • to pay rent that is clearly excessive 
  • for rent if you do not get Housing Benefit 
  • for Council Tax if you do not get Council Tax Support
  • if there is no money left in the fund

How are DHPs paid?

  • Any award for Council Tax will be credited directly to your Council Tax account.
  • Any Discretionary Housing Payment awarded for rent will be paid with your Housing Benefit.

How to apply

If you need extra help with your housing costs you can either:

  • write to us giving us as much information as possible to help us understand why your circumstances are special or 
  • use our online form (link above) or call us to request a Discretionary Housing Payments Application Form

We will write to tell you if your request was successful and confirm how much we will pay and for how long (the Discretionary Housing Payment fund is limited so you will not get payments for very long)

If you disagree with our decision

If we can't offer you a DHP we will write to you to explain why.

If you think our decision is wrong and you must write to us within 1 month of receiving our  letter (we may allow a longer period in some circumstances). Your letter should state the reasons why you think our decision was wrong.

We will ask a different offer to review the decision, together with any new information you provide. They will write to let you have their decision.

If you still disagree you can write to the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support Manager to ask for the decision to be looked at one last time. They will arrange a panel to review the case (the panel will include a member of staff from outside the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support service). The panel will look at our reasons for refusing your request and make sure we have applied a fair and consistent approach to awarding DHPs. We will write to give you the Panels decision. 

The  panel ’s decision if final - there is no further right of appeal.

Independent Advice

For free and independent advice contact:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit

Contact this service

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support0118 937 3707More Information
Citizens Advice Bureau (Reading)0845 0716379More Information
Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit0118 955 1070More Information