Frequently Asked Questions
When Can I Claim?
There is no time limit for making an application for assistance. You can apply for help with arrears that accrued at any time when you had an open Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Claim.
What Information Do I Have To Provide?
Dependant upon the local authority from which the payment is being requested the information required will vary but in general will include:
- The reason(s) for the arrears having accrued
- Whether or not you have been served notice and at what stage you are at in the eviction process
- Full financial details
- Details of what you have done to downsize (if applicable)
- Details of what you are doing to find work (if applicable)
Will A Payment Affect My Benefits?
No Discretionary Housing Payments do not count as income or capital when calculating your entitlement to means tested benefits or tax credits.
Do I Have To Pay It Back?
No. Local Authorities do not expect you to pay back payments made.
How Are Payments Made?
Payment is made directly to your landlord. Payments may cover your accrued arrears as a lump sum and/or may be paid on an ongoing basis for any top up you may have (such as for the benefit cap or bedroom tax). Top up payments are usually paid for a period of 13 or 26 weeks to allow you time to rearrange finances or move to a cheaper/smaller property.
Can I Claim More Than Once?
Yes. There are no limits on how many times you may make an application. However, the success of the claim will depend upon the reason you need to claim again. For example; if you have been trying to find work to escape the benefit cap and have evidence of your continued efforts you may be successful. If you just needed to rearrange your finances to afford your top up and have been given time to do so you may not be awarded another payment.