Housing and Council Tax Benefit
What is a discretionary housing payment?
Every year the Council is given a sum of money from Central Government to award Discretionary Housing Payments to people who need further assistance to meet their eligible housing costs. It is an additional payment to Housing and Council Tax Benefit and can be awarded at the discretion of the authority. These payments are only available to people entitled to Housing and Council Tax Benefit who require further assistance.
What are eligible housing costs?
When people are charged rent it sometimes states in their tenancy agreement that the rent includes a charge for other services, such as meals, electricity and charges for water. Eligible housing costs are therefore the amount of charged rent minus any ineligible service charges.
Ineligible service charges are not paid by Housing Benefit. Therefore, you may have a shortfall in the amount of Housing Benefit that Ribble Valley Borough Council pays and the amount of rent you must pay your landlord. Unfortunately Discretionary Housing Payments are not available to make up this shortfall.
Would I be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment?
- Are you entitled to either Housing or Council Tax Benefit or both?
- Is Housing and Council Tax Benefit leaving you a shortfall in the actual amount of rent and council tax you need to pay?
- Is the shortfall, eligible rent costs?
If you can answer yes to the above questions and Ribble Valley Borough Council is satisfied that you require further financial assistance you may be awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment.
Please note that if you are only entitled to Housing Benefit then we are unable to help financially with your Council Tax bill. Also if you qualify for Council Tax Benefit then we are unable to give financial assistance with your rent costs.
How to claim
If you wish to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment you must complete our application form. Please call into the benefits office or contact email@example.com or 01200 414453.
Please note, the length of time the authority will pay an award is at their discretion.
Your rights and duties
If you are unhappy with a decision that Ribble Valley Borough Council has made in relation to your claim for Discretionary Housing Payment you can ask for a reconsideration of the decision. You must do this in writing within one calendar month of notification.
You must also inform the Council within one calendar month of any change in your circumstances. If the Council is not notified within the time limit an overpayment of Discretionary Housing Payment may occur. You will have to pay this money back.
If you have any further questions regarding Discretionary Housing Payments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 01200 414453
Pages in Housing and Council Tax Benefit
- What is Housing and Council Tax Benefit?
- How is Housing and Council Tax Benefit calculated?
- How to claim
- Current claim
- What is Second Adult Rebate?
- You are here: What is a discretionary housing payment?
- When will my Benefit be paid?
- What happens if I am awarded benefit and I have a change in my circumstances?
- Benefit Fraud
- What to do if you disagree with a decision
- The Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
- Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
- Information from the Department of Work & Pensions regarding changes to Housing Benefit from April 2011
- Housing Benefit Change for Some Single People
- Changes to the Benefit System as of April 2013