Discretionary Housing Payments
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a short term payment awarded to people who need help paying their rent. In order to qualify you must receive Housing Benefit or a Housing Cost Element as part of your Universal Credit award. Any award can be paid for a period of 6 or 12 months depending on your circumstances and applications should be made directly to Fife Council.
To claim a Discretionary Housing Payment you must be entitled to Housing Benefit or receive a Housing Cost Element as part of your Universal Credit award. You must also show that financially you are unable to pay your rent.
You can’t get a payment towards your rent if you receive full Housing Benefit, or if your rent is met in full by the Housing Cost Element of your Universal Credit.
A DHP cannot be paid towards most service charges included in your rent liability
Fife Council has limited funds for DHP and the amount you receive will depend on your disposable income. Due to limited funds available it is not always possible to award the full shortfall between your Housing Benefit/Housing Cost Element of your Universal Credit award and your rent charge.
Here are a few examples of circumstances where you may qualify;
Circumstances where you may qualify
- Under Occupancy (bedroom tax - no financial assessment is necessary) From April 2014 the Scottish Government made the decision to reimburse the full cost of the bedroom tax. An application must still be made and the award will be paid from the start of the current financial year.
- Benefit Cap - If your housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit has been reduced as you have income over the threshold of £350 for a single person, or £500 for a couple/ family and the benefit cap has been applied.
- If you are under 35 and your housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit award has been reduced to the local housing allowance shared room rate.
- The local housing allowance (LHA) rate does not cover the cost of your rent.
- You are not entitled to full housing benefit/or your housing cost element does not cover your full rent charge,and are having difficulty making ends meet due to an illness affecting a member of the household.
- You have just started work and housing benefit/the housing cost element of your Universal Credit has been reduced and you are now finding it difficult to make ends meet due to new expenses, such as buying overalls, tools or other equipment needed for the new job.
- Housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit award has been reduced because of, for example, sons and daughters who are over 18 and working.
How to claim
The application form asks you to provide evidence of some of your expenses and asks you to explain why you can't afford your rent e.g. a large increase in your rent charge.
We may write to you if further information is required. Once this information is received a decision will be made on your application.
Please contact the Benefits and Council Tax Team on 03451 55 11 55 if you would like further information about claiming a DHP or assistance in completing the application form.
Welfare Reform - Related links
- Welfare Reform timeline
- Universal Credit
- Managing your benefits
- Scottish Welfare Fund
- Income Support
- Bedroom Tax
- The Benefit Cap
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Claimant Commitment
- Work and Training
- Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
- Food Banks
- Citizens Advice and Rights Fife / Citizens Advice Bureau
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Benefits and Council Tax Enquiries
Tel: 03451 55 11 55 Contact Benefits and Council Tax Enquiries online
By Post: Rothesay House Rothesay Place Glenrothes Fife KY7 5PQ