There are three circumstances where you might qualify for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) when you’re getting Housing Benefit and you live in Northern Ireland.
1. Family Premium
We may not have been able to include a ‘family premium’ when we calculated your housing benefit if:
a) you made a new claim after 5 September 2016 and had a child(ren); or
b) you were getting housing benefit and had a child(ren) born / adopted / join your household since 5 September 2016.
If either affect you and you did not get full housing benefit you may qualify for DHP.
The maximum you might be awarded to help with paying your rent is £11.34 per week.
2. Benefit Cap
You have been affected by a cap in your benefit payments since 7 November 2016.
Couple/Family: If your housing benefit decreased because of Benefit Cap you may be getting a Welfare Supplementary Payment (WSP). But if there is a change in your circumstances which means your housing benefit reduces again, WSP does not increase. If this is the case then you may qualify for DHP.
The maximum amount you might get if you’re a Couple/Family is the difference between the old benefit cap amount and the new benefit cap amount that is not met through WSP.
Single: if you’re affected by Benefit Cap you will not receive a Welfare Supplementary Payment. You can apply for DHP.
If you’re single it is the full shortfall between the old housing benefit amount and the new amount.
3. Shortfall in rent (private rented sector only)
If there is a difference between the rent charged by your landlord (contractual rent) and the rent used by us (eligible rent / Local Housing Allowance) to calculate your housing benefit award you may qualify for DHP to help make up some of the difference.
The maximum you will get will not be greater than the difference between the rent you pay and the eligible rent the Housing Executive uses to work out your Housing Benefit claim.
How we pay Discretionary Housing Payment
Any award made will be dated from the Monday of the week your application was received.
DHP will last for a set period of time and will be detailed in the ‘letter of offer’ you are sent. If your claim is successful we will pay your DHP at the same time as your Housing Benefit. But DHP is not a payment of Housing Benefit.
How to apply for Discretionary Housing Payment if you’re getting Housing Benefit
Download and complete the Discretionary Housing Payment application form (PDF 262 kB). Please return the completed form to your nearest Housing Executive office.