June 2013 – Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments
New regulations have been issued in relation to universal credit and discretionary housing payments (DHP’s) ensuring that a local authority may make a DHP to a person who is entitled to universal credit which has been calculated to include an amount in respect of housing costs relating to rent (or similar payments).
The regulations set a monthly limit on the amount of DHP equal to the amount of housing costs included in the calculation of universal credit.
Claimants may be able to get discretionary housing payments if their Universal Credit has been reduced because of:
Housing size criteria restrictions
A rent shortfall which may make them homeless
Non-dependant deductions on housing costs
Reductions in benefit where the benefit cap has been applied
Reductions in benefit for tenants in the social rented sector (council housing, housing association tenancies) as a result of under occupation
Claims for DHP’s are made to the local authority. Most local authorities will have a form on which to request a DHP. As DHP’s are discretionary, there is no right to a payment or appeal against a refusal.
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