Discretionary payment schemes

Discretionary payments are available to provide extra financial help towards your rent and Council Tax. They are intended to help you through temporary difficulties or periods of hardship. There are two schemes, one for rent and one for Council Tax. The qualifying criteria are slightly different but if you wish to claim for both you only have to make one application to us.

Discretionary Housing Payments

To qualify:

  • you need to be in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and
  • the amount of your Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, is less than the amount of rent you are charged and
  • we must be satisfied you need more financial help

Discretionary Council Tax Payments

To qualify:

  • you need to be responsible for paying the Council Tax and
  • we must be satisfied that you need financial help

Make a claim

Let us know why you need a discretionary payment by completing the application form below.

If you are claiming because you have been affected by the benefit cap please complete the application form below:

You can also get hold of an application form by phoning us and asking for one to be sent out in the post to you.

Criteria for making a discretionary payment 

There are no set criteria and everyone's circumstances are different, but we will consider things like:

  • the amount of help you get towards your rent and Council Tax and the amounts you have to pay
  • your household's financial situation, including income, savings, expenditure and debts
  • the medical circumstances of you and anyone who lives with you
  • if you have been affected by Welfare Reform changes
  • circumstances affecting you that are beyond your control
  • temporary hardship and difficulties when starting work
  • temporary situations that make it difficult to move home in the short term, or there is a risk of imminent loss of your home, where we think that a discretionary payment will prevent this

Appeals against discretionary payment decisions

You can ask us to look at your claim again and your case will be reviewed by another officer to check if the original decision was correct. The letter we send you will tell you how to do this. However, there is no right of appeal to an independent tribunal.