Discretionary Housing Payments
Every year Tower Hamlets benefits service
receives a limited amount of funding from central housing
government for existing housing benefit claimants who do not
receive full benefit and who can show that they have special
These additional payments are discretionary
and do not fall under the normal housing benefit rules.
How to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment
In order to be considered for a Discretionary
Housing Payment you must:
- already be getting housing benefit but the
amount you get does not cover the full eligible rent
- make a written application and satisfactorily explain why you
need extra help
- provide any information and evidence that we need to support
How much can be awarded?
The amount of the Discretionary Housing
Payment cannot be more than the total amount of your eligible rent.
If awarded it will be an amount that is somewhere between your
existing benefit entitlement and your eligible rent.
The total amount we are allowed to spend on
Discretionary Housing Payments in any one year is limited by the
We aim to ensure that payments that are made
go to those who are most in need and are spread out fairly over the
Over what period can a Discretionary Housing Payment be
Payments can be backdated and can be either
one-off awards or ongoing payments. However, as the funding
available for Discretionary Housing Payments is limited in any one
financial year, we will not normally make ongoing awards for longer
than three months.
Claimants can re-apply for a further
Discretionary Housing Payment when one comes to an end and this new
application will be considered on its merits.
Changes in circumstances
You, or your appointee, must tell us straight
away if there is a change in the conditions (including changes in
your income and savings) under which the Discretionary Housing
Payment was granted.
If your entitlement to housing
benefit ends so will the Discretionary Housing Payment.
Overpayment of Discretionary Housing
These are recoverable but this will not be
done from any on-going housing benefit you have. Instead recovery
will be made by sending you an invoice.
How do I apply?
online Discretionary Housing Payment application form.
Download a Discretionary
Housing Payment claim form (PDF, 480kb).
How to contact us
Tower Hamlets has a centralised benefit claims
processing service and a dedicated benefits call centre. Both are
based at the Town Hall where all enquiries should be directed.
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Tel: 020 7364 5001
Fax: 020 7364 7048
Personal callers should visit their nearest
One stop shop to hand in claim
forms, obtain receipts and have original evidence photocopied.
Home visits can be arranged if you are
housebound and do not have anyone who can help you.