Discretionary Housing Payments Policy - April 2013
Change of circumstances and Method of payment
Changes of Circumstances
As claimants for DHP must be in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with housing costs included, they therefore remain under a general requirement to inform us of changes in their circumstances that might affect their claim for HB and also for Universal Credit
The Council's policy will be that a change in the claimant's circumstances will not affect the level of their DHP providing:
- they retain entitlement to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with housing costs
- the level of their Housing Benefit, plus the DHP does not exceed their liability to pay rent, less the deductions specified in Regulation 3 of the Discretionary Financial Regulations 2001
- the change of circumstances was not specifically defined as being critical to the award of the DHP. The Council may specify changes in circumstances that will need to be notified to the Council as it is considered that the amount or need for a DHP will change on such an event. In these cases the Council may revise the DHP award.
Method of Payment
We will decide to whom we will make payment of the DHP based upon the circumstances of each case. This could include:
- the claimant; their partner;
- an appointee;
- their landlord (or an agent of the landlord); or
- any third party to whom it might be appropriate to make payment.
We will pay any award of DHP by the most appropriate means available in each case. This could include payment:
- with Housing Benefit;
- by BACS;
- by offsetting the DHP against any other liability the claimant or partner has to the Council to reduce indebtedness and reduce their expenditure.
We will decide in each case whether the DHP should be paid in advance or in arrears.