Isle of Wight Council

Housing Benefit - Guidance

Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme

The Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme is designed to help people who, because of special circumstances, need financial assistance with their rent. It does not cover payments in respect of Local Council Tax Support. This is an additional payment where Housing Benefit entitlement and Universal Credit housing costs do not cover the full value of the rent. Payments are entirely discretionary and are usually for a limited period only to enable you to seek an alternative solution.

We cannot give DHPs for the following:

  • Ineligible service charges not covered by housing benefit or universal credit;
  • any rent you owe;
  • deductions from your universal credit;
  • if we take any amount from your housing benefit because your jobseeker’s allowance has been sanctioned (ie, not been paid because you have broken the terms of your claim);
  • when your housing benefit payments are suspended;
  • rent, if you are only entitled to Local Council Tax Support;
  • if the only benefit you get is second adult rebate
  • Local Council Tax Support. 

The Discretionary Housing Payment Policy

The policy enables the council to be in a position to deal more effectively with our vulnerable and disadvantaged people.  The council will be able to provide an appropriate and responsive programme of payments to Island residents in genuine hardship (which cannot be met through other means).  This will mean tenancies can be sustained where there is no alternative to short term assistance.

To read the approved Discretionary Housing Payment policy, please click here (PDF, 82KB, 11 pages).

When we can make a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

We can only make a Discretionary Housing Payment where we consider the applicants circumstances are such that additional help in order to cover the cost of their rent is appropriate.

Each case is considered on its own merits and both the financial and personal circumstances of the individual are taken into account, along with any steps that the applicant is taking to address the situation with any shortfall.

There is no right of appeal against the refusal to grant an award.  Any award, which is granted, will be paid alongside your housing benefit payment.

How to apply for Discretionary Housing Payment

If you think you need this extra help please complete the Discretionary Housing Payment Application Form.  You will need to complete and submit the online application form.