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Discretionary Housing Payments
Home   Benefits   Housing Benefits   Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you claim Housing Benefit or receive housing cost payments through Universal Credit and need financial help because your benefit is less than the full amount of your rent, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can help cover this.

DHP is not for covering the cost of things included in your rent (e.g. fuel, water, food). Read our DHP policy (PDF, 129kb).

Am I entitled to DHP?

If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you can claim a DHP to help pay your rent. We must be satisfied that you need help with your housing costs. The decision will be based on:

  • income
  • savings (PDF, 19kb) you and your partner have
  • whether you have anyone living with you who can contribute to housing costs
  • loans or debt you have to pay
  • special circumstances you or your family members may have e.g. disability
  • whether you can rearrange your finances or accommodation arrangements in order to pay your rent more easily

How to apply

Complete and return a Discretionary Housing Payment Application (Word, 47kb).

If we need more information we'll write to you. We may ask to meet with you to discuss your claim.

How much can I get and for how long?

This depends on circumstances. Each case is looked at individually.

Please note: there is no guarantee that you'll get a payment once you apply.

DHP payments

If your application is successful you will receive payment as follows:

  • if you receive Housing Benefit, payment is made with your Housing Benefit payment.
  • if you receive Universal Credit, payment is made direct to your bank account or to your landlord, if you are a Council or Registered Social Landlord tenant.

What happens if I disagree with the amount or period of the DHP?

If you disagree with our decision, you should write to us within 20 days of the date on the decision letter you received from us.

We will look at your application again and write to you with the outcome.

What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change you must tell us, in writing, within 1 month.

We will look at the DHP we awarded and see if it needs to be changed, this could be more, or less, and you may have to pay some, or all, back.

Where can I get help?

For help and advice, contact us, or:

Contact Benefits



01294 310000


In writing:

North Ayrshire Council, Benefits Section, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8LS

In person:

  • Customer Service Centre, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8BD
  • The Town Hall, Countess Street, Saltcoats, KA21 5HW