Discretionary payments

Discretionary payments provide extra financial help towards your rent and Council Tax. They can help you through temporary difficulties or periods of hardship. There are two types of payments.

Discretionary Housing Payments

You may qualify for help towards your rent if all of the following apply:

  • you get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
  • the amount of your Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit is less than the amount of rent you are charged
  • we are satisfied that you need extra financial help support

Discretionary Council Tax Payments

You may get help with your Council Tax if both of the following apply:

  • you are responsible for paying the Council Tax
  • we are satisfied that you need financial support

Making our decision

There are no set criteria which gives us the flexibility to help people who are not eligible for other types of benefits and financial support. We look at:

  • your household's income, savings, expenditure and debts
  • the amount of help you get towards your rent and Council Tax and the amounts you have to pay
  • temporary hardship and difficulties when starting work
  • any illness or disability in your household which makes it difficult for you to move to cheaper accommodation.
  • if you have been affected by the benefit cap
  • if your property is too big for your household but there are reasons why you need the extra bedrooms
  • circumstances affecting you that are beyond your control

How to apply

Fill out the form below to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. We will use the information you give us to check if you are eligible for a Discretionary Council Tax Payment at the same time.

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (and a Discretionary Council Tax Payment)

If you only want to apply for a Discretionary Council Tax Payment please complete this form.

pdf icon Apply for a Discretionary Council Tax Payment only [356kb]

Some parts of the form ask you to explain your circumstances. Tell us as much as you can to help us decide if we can make a payment. 

We need you to tell us about the money you pay out and any debts you have. If the form is incomplete, we will not have enough information to make a decision and your application may be refused.

What happens when you've applied

We will contact you when we have made a decision. To speed up your application we may ring you to speak to you about it, so please put your contact details on the form.

For more information about how we reach a decision please see our policy document below.

Contact for Benefits Service