What is DHP?

DHP can help you pay your rent if your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Element award does not cover this in full. To be eligible to claim in most cases the following must apply:

  • You are currently claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Element
  • There is an eligible shortfall between your award and your rent charge

What can I get help with?

You can apply for DHP if you are affected by any of the following deductions/shortfalls between your rent and Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitlement:

  • Under Occupancy Charge (commonly known as 'Bedroom Tax') – this is a deduction of 14% or 25% from your benefit entitlement which is applied to tenants in social housing (ie Council tenants or Housing Association tenants) who are deemed to have 1 or more spare bedrooms.

  • Benefit Cap – this is a deduction applied to someone's Housing Benefit or Universal Credit entitlement when their total income from benefits exceeds the capped amount.

    Please note - If you are affected by either the 'Bedroom Tax' or Benefit Cap you are automatically entitled to DHP to cover this deduction in full. If you believe you are affected by either of these deductions and have not been awarded DHP then please apply online as soon as possible using the link below or contact us by email or telephone using the details provided at the end of this page.
  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Restrictions – this is a cap which restricts the amount of benefits Private Tenants can receive to help them pay their rent. Your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit Housing Element entitlement is limited based on how many bedrooms your household is deemed to require, regardless of your actual rent charge.

  • Non-Dependent Deductions – this is a deduction applied to your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit Housing Element when there is another adult living in your household who is expected to contribute towards your rent.

  • Income Deductions – this is a deduction which is applied to your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitlement when you are in receipt of earnings or other eligible income (eg pension).

In addition to the above, DHP can also sometimes be considered to help with Deposits, Rent in Advance, or Moving Costs when you are in receipt of Housing Benefit/Universal Credit Housing Element and are moving home.

However, there are other schemes that can help with this which you should consider in the first instance:

  • Rent Deposit Assistance Scheme – this scheme can help you pay a deposit for a new private tenancy in the Falkirk area if you are on a low income and unable to afford the deposit on your own.

  • Scottish Welfare Fund Community Care Grant – this scheme may be able to provide help towards moving costs and other housing related needs for those on a low income.

What DHP cannot cover

There are certain types of housing costs/deductions/shortfalls which DHP cannot help with. For example:

  • Rent Arrears – DHP generally cannot be considered to make payments towards existing rent arrears, or increases in rent due to outstanding arrears, particularly rent arrears which have accrued for a period during which you were not in receipt of Housing Benefit/Universal Credit Housing Element.

  • Overpayment Recovery – deductions from your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit entitled due to the recovery of previously overpaid benefits cannot be covered by DHP.

  • Debt Recovery – deductions from your benefits to recover existing debts or advance payments of Universal Credit cannot be covered by DHP.

  • Deductions for other Benefits received (Universal Credit) – direct deductions taken from your Universal Credit entitlement due to receiving other benefits such as Carer’s Allowance or Employment Support Allowance cannot be covered by DHP.

  • Sanctions – deductions from your benefits entitlement due to conditionality sanctions cannot be covered by DHP.

  • Charges for Council Tax or Water/Sewerage – DHP cannot be considered to help towards these costs.

Please note - If you are struggling financially due to any of the above, contact our Debt Advice Team or Welfare Benefits Advice Team who may be able to provide additional information and support.

How do I apply?

Please apply online using the link below if you wish to be considered for DHP.

If you need assistance with the online form please contact us on 01324 506070 or visit your nearest Advice and Support Hub.

What happens next?

DHP funds are limited (unless you are affected by Bedroom Tax or Benefit Cap). Therefore, in most cases we will only be able to consider providing financial support on a temporary basis. If awarded DHP we will normally expect you to actively seek a longer-term solution to your Housing Costs needs. For example:

  • Looking for alternative, affordable accommodation.
  • Looking for employment, or increased hours of employment.
  • Engaging with Debt Advice Services to help you reduce debts/manage existing budget.
  • Engaging with Welfare Benefits Advice Services to maximise your income.

We can sometimes make longer term awards if we think there are exceptional circumstances. This may be where we think it's not reasonable to expect you to take the above steps.

DHP is not the same as a Housing Benefit or Universal Credit payment, and there is no statutory appeals process. If you don't agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again. Details of how you can do this will be on your decision notice.

Supporting documents

Submit any documents you have been asked to supply using our online form.

You can currently use the form to submit documents for the following services:

  • Housing Benefit/Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Council Tax
  • Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants
  • Education Maintenance Allowance

Other support