Discretionary Housing Payment

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a short term payment awarded to people who need help paying their rent. To qualify you must receive: Housing Benefit; or a housing cost element as part of your Universal Credit Award.  An award is payable for a period of 6 or 12 months, depending on your circumstances. Applications should be made 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 you are unable to pay your rent.

You can’t get a payment towards your rent if you receive: full Housing Benefit; or if the housing cost element of your Universal Credit pays your full rent costs.

A DHP can't pay towards most service charges included in your rent liability.

Fife Council has limited funds for DHP. The amount you receive will depend on your disposable income.   Due to limited funds being available the award may not meet the full shortfall between : Your rent costs; and Housing Benefit/Housing Cost Element of your Universal Credit award.

Here are a few examples of circumstances where you may qualify:

No financial assessment is necessary for under occupancy (bedroom tax). The Scottish Government made the decision to reimburse the full cost of the bedroom tax - April 2014.  An application is still required.  The award will be paid from the start of the current financial year.

If you are under 35, there has been a reduction in:

  • Your housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit award 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.
  • You are having difficulty making ends meet due to an illness affecting a member of the household.
  • You have started work and housing benefit/the housing cost element of your Universal Credit has been reduced.
  • 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.
  • A reduction in your Housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit award - for example, sons and daughters who are over 18 and working.  
  • Benefit Cap If a reduction in your housing benefit/housing cost element of your Universal Credit, as you have income over the threshold of £257.69 for a single person, or £384.62 for a couple/family and the benefit cap has been applied.  


How to claim


The application form asks you to provide :
  • evidence 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 for further information. Once we receive this we'll make a decision on your application.

If you would like further information about :
  • claiming a DHP or need help with the application form

Please contact the Benefits and Council Tax Team online using the link below.
Your Enquiry

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Send enquiry to: Benefits and Council Tax Enquiries




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