Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are receiving Housing Benefit but are still having difficulty paying your rent you may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment. Payments can also be made towards a rent deposit or removal costs if you are moving home.

Claim Discretionary Housing Payments Online

Who can get a Discretionary Housing Payment?

To be considered for a Discretionary Housing Payment you must be in receipt of:

  • Housing Benefit; or
  • Universal Credit (that includes support towards a rental liability); and
  • require further financial assistance towards your rent or housing costs

Aberdeenshire Council has a limited fund that can be used for Discretionary Housing Payments, therefore all claims are carefully considered before any award is made.

How does Aberdeenshire Council decide who gets a Discretionary Housing Payment?

The Council has a Discretionary Housing Payment Policy, which provides a framework for decision-makers. View our policy (pdf 199KB).

There is no automatic entitlement to Discretionary Housing Payments. Aberdeenshire Council will look at each case individually, considering how much income a person has and how much they have to pay out each week. Some examples of when someone may require extra help include (but not limited to):

  • you live in a council house and your housing benefit has been reduced because you are under occupying your property
  • your housing benefit has been reduced because of the benefit cap
  • you are sick or disabled and cannot work
  • you have large debt
  • your rent is very high and you are looking for cheaper accommodation
  • you are caring for a relative or friend and have to pay a lot in travel costs
  • your housing benefit has been reduced because of a non-dependant reduction

These are just a few examples. There may be other reasons why you need to apply.

How long can Discretionary Housing Payments be paid for?

Discretionary Housing Payment's are paid on a temporary basis to allow you time to make changes to your circumstances. For example, a Discretionary Housing Payment may be awarded until you find more affordable accommodation or until you reduce your debt. You will need to consider how you pay your rent long term without a Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you are awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment you will be advised how long the payments last for. This can range from a few weeks to a maximum of 12 months.

How can I make an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment?

The easiest way to make an application is to complete the on-line claim form by using the link above. Please provide as much information as possible about your circumstances. You can also download an application form here:

Discretionary Housing Payment Application.pdf (60kb)

You should send your completed form to: Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team, PO Box 18533, Inverurie, AB51 5WX

If you prefer, you can contact us and ask us to send you an application form.

Telephone: 03456 08 12 00, Email: asat@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

What should I do if I disagree with the decision made on my claim?

If you disagree with our decision, you should write to us explaining why you feel we should reconsider the decision. The decision will be looked at again by someone other than the original decision-maker and you will receive a letter explaining the outcome of that review.

If after the first tier review you are still dis-satisfied you can seek a second tier review.

For more information you can download our information leaflet: Discretionary Housing Payments

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