How to claim FREE cash help of up to £4,500 with your rent bills if you’re struggling

ANYONE struggling to pay rent can get thousands of pounds worth of help.

The Discretionary Housing Payment is a little-known payment given by councils to people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Your local council can help you with housing costs if you are struggling


Your local council can help you with housing costs if you are strugglingCredit: Alamy

Anyone who receives benefit for housing in England and Wales can be registered financial support.

You may be eligible if you are receiving the Housing Element or Housing Allowance General Credit and are struggling with the cost of rent.

The exact amount you get depends on where you live as each local government will split the cash on a case-by-case basis.

The average amount awarded nationally is £527, new figures reveal.

But some regions are issuing thousands of pounds, and in one region as much as 4,496 pounds were issued between April and September.

In Lewisham, south-east London, 165 families have been awarded £742,000 to help with housing costs this year.

Six other London locations including Westminster, Ealing and Harrow distributed more than £2,000 on average.

Housing costs in the capital are often higher than elsewhere in the country.

The amount the council can give also depends on how many people need it.

Since each district has a cash rule, the more applicants, the less money will be distributed to each applicant.

Nearly 6,500 applications were made in Liverpool – more than any other location – with an average amount given out of £181.

However, this amount is average, meaning that some people have been offered larger amounts and others less.

Each board decides how much you can get depending on each person’s needs and how much cash they have to hand out.

You need to apply through your local council for the Discretionary Housing Payment and you can find your local council by search for your postcode here.

How much is the Discretionary Housing Payment?

There is no fixed amount for the Discretionary Housing Payment, and what you receive may only cover some of your housing costs, not all.

There’s also no fixed way of getting payments – you can get paid as a lump sum or as a regular payment, such as monthly.

Payments can be ongoing or have an end date – if you’re confirming a payment you should check to see when the payment will end.

If you still need help after support ends, you can apply for payment again, although there’s no guarantee you’ll get it or the same amount if you do.

There is no limit to how many times you can apply for payments.

Once the board has used up that funding, the board may have to reject the application if funds are not available.

If you apply for a DHP and are denied, you can ask the board to reconsider.

You can also reapply after being denied if your circumstances have changed.

Similarly, if you receive a payment and your circumstances change, you will also need to notify the board as it could affect your rights to the amount.

The payment you receive may go to you directly or directly to your landlord

You may also receive a deferred payment.

Who is eligible for the Discretionary Housing Payment?

You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if you are entitled to the Housing Benefit, or the housing element of Universal Credit.

There is a similar scheme of the same name in Scotland that can also help with housing costs, but with different eligibility criteria.

If the benefits you are currently receiving are still not enough to cover your housing costs, you may be able to get help.

Payment is discretionary, which means that the financial assistance given is determined on a case-by-case basis.

DHP may be given under the following circumstances, but there are also situations where you may also receive it.

  • Have you been affected by a benefit cap, bedroom tax, or a change in your local housing benefit rate?
  • Your housing benefit is not enough to pay the rent
  • You’re moving and need a rent deposit or rent advance, or help with moving costs

If your benefits are reduced due to overpayment and that means you cannot pay all or part of your rent, you will unfortunately not be able to receive DHP.

You also cannot ask DHP to pay council tax or service charges.

Check out other ways you can get help pay rent and housing costs.

There is also support for anyone struggling with bills.

My teenage daughter moved out of our housing association because she was so embarrassed her moldy walls fell into disrepair.

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Bobby Allyn

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