Are you struggling to meet your rent each month or need help with deposits, removal costs?
Every year the government gives local councils a pot of money to make Discretionary Housing Payments to help people who qualify for Housing Benefit (or the housing costs element of Universal Credit) who are having trouble:
• Paying their rent
• Finding enough money to pay for the start-up costs of a tenancy, such as rent deposits and removal costs.
Many people have a shortfall between the Housing Benefit they get and the rent they have to pay.
If you are struggling to meet this shortfall then you can apply to the local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment. This includes where you have been affected by the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap.
You can also ask for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you are on Universal Credit and struggling to pay your rent.
Discretionary Housing Payments given to help with your on-going rent are usually awarded for a limited amount of time – 13 or 26 weeks – so they are not a long-term answer. But you can re-apply at the end of that period.
If you make a claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment you need to explain your personal circumstances in as much detail as possible explaining why you need the extra help and for how long you are likely to require it. It’s a good idea to include a “financial statement” showing your income and outgoings. You are more likely to get a payment if you will not need it for very long.
To claim a DHP you can complete the DHP application form (link below) and write to the council s explaining why you think you might qualify, or telephone 01744 676666 for further advice.
Address Contact centre, Wesley house, Corporation street, St. Helens WA10 1HF.
Should you need furher guidance, support you can also talk with the local Citizens Advice Bureau. This would be a good idea if you are experiencing financial issues.
For debt or benefit appointments ring 01744 737866 – open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm.