Discretionary Payments

You could receive a payment if your benefits don’t cover your rent or council tax

If your Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of your Universal Credit doesn’t cover the full amount of your rent and/or your Local Council Tax Support doesn't cover the full amount of your council tax, you may be able to get a discretionary payment.

Discretionary payments are awards, not benefit payments. The awards are usually only made for a short time and are not a long-term solution.

You can only apply for a discretionary payment if you are currently entitled to Housing Benefit, the Housing Element of Universal Credit and/or Local Council Tax Support. We will usually pay it with any Housing Benefit Payment or pay it directly into your council tax account.  

Please complete this form If you would like to claim a Discretionary Payment.

How do you decide if I can have a Discretionary Payment?

Before making a decision we will look at:

  •   Your total income.
  •   Your expenses.
  •   If anyone else in your house is able to help you.
  •   If you have any loans or debts.
  •   If you could manage your money better to ease the situation.
  •   If you or anyone in your family is ill or disabled.
  •   Disability adaptations.
  •   The size of your property.
  •   If you are a foster carer.
  •   If you have tried to put the situation right yourself.

You can ask us to look at our decision again if you don’t agree with the amount we’ve given you. You should write to us within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter, explaining why you disagree.

Report a change in circumstance

If your circumstances change, you must write to us straight away. We will look at your Discretionary Payment again to see if we need to change it. If the change means we have to reduce your Discretionary Payment, you might have to pay back some or all of the Discretionary Payments we have already paid you.