This page provides further information about Discretionary
Housing Payments (DHPs), how long a claim can take to
process, if your claim can be backdated and how we look
at income and childcare costs when looking at a claim.
From 1 April 2013 a
can no longer be claimed
to help towards the cost of your Council Tax. A
will only be available
as a 'top up' to Housing Benefit.
Discretionary Housing Payments
DHPs are not payments of benefit but a payment made in
addition to Housing Benefit when it appears to the Local
Authority that the claimant may need some further financial
assistance in order to meet rental costs.
There is a limited amount of money that Local Authorities have
to use for
and as the payments are discretionary each case is looked at
We will look at things like your financial circumstances
including income, outgoings and savings and the shortfall
between your Housing Benefit and the amount you have to
- We need to know about any special circumstances such as medical
problems which need consideration.
- We also need look at how much is in the fund when we consider
- You can find further information on our Discretionary
Housing Payments page.
Please download a Discretionary Housing Payment
application form (MS Word, 129KB)
How Long Will My Claim Take?
We try hard to deal with your claim as soon as
possible. More information about Golden Promise - make your claim
You can help us to process your claim quickly by providing all
of the relevant information required right at the
us if you are experiencing difficulties due to delays in
dealing with your claim.
Can My Claim Be Backdated?
If you qualify for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax
Support we will normally pay your benefit from the Monday following
the date of first contact from you, as long as we receive your
claim form within one calendar month from this date.
It is important you get your claim form to us as soon as
possible or you may miss out on benefit.
If you are of working age you may be able to apply for
backdating up to a maximum of 6 months for Housing
Benefit and a maximum of 13 weeks for Council Tax
If you are pensionable
age then backdating is for a maximum of 3
You must put this in writing to us and you must show continuous
This might be because you were ill and no one else was able to
claim on your behalf or you were unable to manage your own affairs
and you didn’t have an appointee.
The good cause shown must also be continuous, this means that,
for example, if you were ill and unable to claim, as soon as you
were well again you would have to claim straight away otherwise we
would be unable to backdate.
Each case will be looked at based on its individual
If we decide not to backdate your claim, or if you don’t agree
with the date we backdate it to, then you have the right to
appeal against our
How Will You Treat My Earnings?
When we look at your income, we will look at all the money that
you have coming in from earnings. This will also include any
tips or bonuses, overtime, money you get instead of your normal pay
or money you get from holidays you did not take.
We will then deduct any Tax, National Insurance and half of any
money paid towards a private or occupational pension from
To determine how much of your income we use, to calculate
Housing Benefit (All Ages) OR Council Tax Support if you are of
we will deduct the following from your earnings:
- If you are single, the first £5.00.
- If you are a couple, the first £10.00.
- If you are disabled or a carer, the first £20.00.
- If you are a single parent, the first £25.00
If you are of working age and claiming Council Tax Support, to
determine how much of your income we use, to calculate Council Tax
Support, we will deduct the following from your
- If you are single, the first £10.00.
- If you are a couple, the first £15.00.
- If you are disabled or a carer, the first £25.00.
- If you are a single parent, the first £30.00
If you are self-employed you will need to complete
a Self-Employed Earnings
Information form (MS Word, 129KB).
What if I have Childcare Costs?
You may be entitled to more Housing and Council Tax Benefit if
you pay the extra cost of childcare. You may qualify for extra help
if you are a couple and both of you work 16 hours of more, a couple
where one is working 16 hours or more and the other partner is
considered to be incapable of work a lone parent who works 16 hours
The child must be with a registered child-minder, or be in a
childminding scheme for which registrations is not required, or any
other out-of-school-hours scheme provided by a school or local
If your child care falls into one of the above groups then the
money you pay can be deducted from your earnings, of up to £175.00
per week for the first child and up to a maximum of £300 per week
for 2 or more children.
This disregard is in addition to the other earnings
This help may continue up to the first Monday in September after
the child’s 15th Birthday.
More information on childcare is available from the Family Information Service. You can also
download our Child Care
costs form (MS Word, 129KB) to be completed by the child care