Benefits and support

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can give you short term help to pay your rent when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not meet your rent in full.

Can I claim?

You can apply if:

  • you receive Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit
  • there is a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement

Our budget for these payments is limited and we have to consider each case by looking at your financial and personal circumstances and whether anyone in your house can help you.

We look at things like:

  • income and savings
  • loans or debts
  • how you use your income
  • if you or anyone in your family is ill or disabled
  • if you receive overnight care

We cannot award payments if you do not get Housing Benefit, the housing cost element of Universal Credit or for any of the following:

  • Council Tax – please apply for help through our Council Tax Support scheme
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit - for example, if you have broken the terms of your Jobseeker's Allowance claim
  • when your housing benefit or Universal Credit payments are suspended
  • ineligible service charges included in your rent
  • rent that is clearly excessive
  • increased rent due to outstanding rent arrears

How to apply

You can apply online. Before starting your application, please read 'Information you need to provide' below.

You will be prompted to upload the relevant files during the application process. The file size for uploads should not exceed 9MB in total.

You can upload images/scanned documents from your computer, tablet or mobile device or, if you prefer, take them to a One Stop Shop to complete your application (see how to book an appointment at a One Stop Shop).

Apply online

Read our privacy notice which tells you how we use your data

What happens next?

We will look at your case and let you know our decision. We will write to tell you how much you will be paid and for how long.

If we can make a payment, you will receive it with your Housing Benefit. If you want the payment to go directly to your landlord, we can arrange this.

If you get Universal Credit you will receive it in the same way your housing element is paid; either to yourself or directly to your landlord.

If we can’t make a payment, we will tell you the reasons why.  If you do not agree with our decision you can submit an appeal and ask us to look at the decision again.

Information you need to provide

We look at each case individually and will look at the following things when we make a decision:

  • Your income and savings.
  • If anyone else in your house can help you.
  • If you have any loans or debts.
  • How you use your income.
  • If you or anyone in your family is ill or disabled and additional costs you may have because of this.
  • If you receive overnight care please provide your carer’s name and address.

Please give as much detail as possible including any reason why you feel you could not move to any other area of Liverpool or why you need to stay in your current home. You must provide proof of any income, outgoings, debts and capital. This can be banks statements/receipts/utility bills/award letters.

Universal Credit - if you receive Universal Credit we will need to see proof of the amount and breakdown of your award, and the level of rent. If possible, please provide this with your application to prevent delay.

Income - examples of types of income include state benefits, disability benefits, carers allowance, works pension, child benefit, tax credits, net earnings including overtime, bonus and commission, child maintenance, money from friends or family, and any other income you receive.

Outgoings - examples of types of outgoings include food, toiletries/cleaning products, gas, electricity, water rates, telephone, mobile phone, clothing, school meals, childcare costs, child maintenance, travel costs/bus fares to work/school, car expenses including insurance/road tax/petrol, TV Licence, TV rental, satellite TV, internet/broadband, court fines, insurance, and care costs. Please note that this is not a complete list.)

Debts - examples of debts include gas, electricity, water rates, loans, Social Fund repayments, credit union payments, credit/store cards, catalogue payments, hire purchase agreements, and court orders.

Capital - examples of capital include the money you have in the bank, building society or Post Office, and details of any ISAs, PEPs, stocks and shares.

Please note: we cannot give you more than your total rent.