Discretionary Housing Payments Policy - April 2013
Notification and appeal rights
We will inform claimants of the outcome of the application within 10 working days of making a decision about their DHP claim. We will notify:
- those whose application is unsuccessful
- the reasons why we have decided not to award a DHP
those whose application is successful
- the amount of DHP awarded;
- whether it is paid in advance or in arrears;
- the period of the award;
- how, when and to whom the award will be paid;
- a summary of the reasons for the award, any requirement to notify us of changes in circumstances that could affect the DHP award.
To all claimants
- a reminder of the requirement to notify the council of changes in circumstances;
- their appeal rights
DHP's are not payments of Housing Benefit and are therefore not subject to the statutory benefits appeals mechanism where appeals are decided by the Tribunal Service, which is an independent statutory body and part of the Justice Ministry. The Council will therefore decide any appeals relating to DHPs.
We will therefore operate the following policy for dealing with appeals about DHPs.
- A claimant (or their appointee or agent) who wants an explanation of a DHP decision may request one in writing during the period of the DHP award.
- A claimant (or their appointee or agent) who disagrees with a DHP decision may dispute the decision.
- Any such dispute must be made in writing, and must be made within one calendar month of the written decision about the DHP being issued to the claimant. Officers will explain the DHP decision verbally to the claimant by telephone or by interview and seek to resolve the disagreement. Where this cannot be achieved Officers will formally review the decision.
- The Officers will reconsider the award of any DHP that has been disputed and notify the claimant of the outcome of the review. A review will be suspended if more information is needed from a claimant until the information is received. The claimant will have one month to supply any relevant information.
- In the event that following an internal review of a decision, the Officers decide that the original decision should not be revised, we will notify the claimant. There are no further rights of appeal against a decision.
In the event that the claimant feels the internal review has not been undertaken fairly the claimant can request that an independent senior officer (appointed by the Head of Service) shall review the decision to ensure that it has been made fairly and complies with this policy. In the event that this officer concludes that the decision has not been made fairly or in accordance with this policy, they shall refer the matter back to the officer conducting the internal review for reconsideration.