Universal credit has replaced housing benefit for working-age people in the majority of cases. It makes payments towards any housing costs.
If you have to pay council tax, you still claim this with us, using our online form.
If you're aged 18-21, you may not be able to claim any universal credit towards your housing costs. You can find out more at GOV.UK.
Discretionary housing payments
If you're receiving housing benefit or universal credit but still can't manage to pay your rent, you may be entitled to extra help.
Discretionary housing payments (DHP) are not payments of benefit but you must already be entitled to housing benefit or universal credit for us to consider your case.
There are no set rules about the amount we can give you, or the circumstances in which it will be awarded. We look at each case individually. Any award is granted for a fixed period and shouldn't be relied on as a long-term solution to any short-term fall in the level of housing benefit or universal credit you receive.
Every year, the Government sets the amount of DHP money we can award. Once it's been spent, we can't make any more payments that year, whatever your circumstances.
You can get a DHP if you're already getting housing benefit or universal credit but don't get the full amount because:
- We're making a non-dependant deduction from your benefit because of an adult living with you, other than your partner
- Your housing benefit has been reduced because of the benefit cap
- You're a council tenant or a housing association tenant and affected by the “bedroom tax”
- You're a private tenant and we think your rent is too high
- Your income means you don't get full housing benefit
- You're moving and need help with a rent deposit or rent in advance
- You're moving to a more affordable property and need help with removal costs
Apply for DHP
You should complete the application form
We aim to look at your application within 15 working days of receiving it. If you're successful, DHP awards are included with your payments of housing benefit. Removals payment will be made directly to the removals firm.
If you disagree with the decision about your DHP application, you can ask us to look at your case again within one month of the date of the notification letter. The decision can also be looked at again in the light of any new information presented to us or whenever we consider it to be appropriate.
You must tell us immediately if your circumstances change as it could affect your eligibility or the amount you receive. If your award of housing benefit changes, we may also change the amount of DHP awarded.