Benefits Advice and Information

Discretionary Housing Payments

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What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?

If you need more help to pay your rent you may be able to have a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

These payments are paid at our discretion and will help to support you if you are struggling with your finances.

Applying

You can fill in our DHP form or you can call 01622 602557, visit our reception or send the form and supporting documents in the post to:

Benefits
Maidstone House
King Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6JQ

Landlords

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Before we speak to a landlord about any benefits we need the tenant’s permission. The tenant will need to fill in an Authority to Discuss form to give us permission.

If they give us permission

We can tell the landlord about the progress of the tenant’s claim, whether we have made a decision, if we have awarded benefit and when we are sending out any payment. We won’t tell any landlord the personal details of a claimant.

If they don’t give us permission

We cannot tell the landlord anything.

What we can tell you if we pay you

We will write to tell a landlord when we start or stop paying them direct. If we pay the landlord, we can tell them:

  • The date benefit started and ended.
  • The weekly amount of benefit and how often we pay. If there is a shortfall, it is up to you to collect the rent your tenant owes you.
  • The amount we are taking direct from benefit to recover any overpayment.

If the tenant has asked for payments direct to the landlord but we can't pay the claim because we don't have all the details, we will not tell the landlord we can't pay unless we have the tenant's written permission.

Direct Payment

If your tenant is in arrears by eight weeks or more you can ask for the payments to be made direct to you. You will need to provide a rent statement proving the tenant is in arrears.

The money will be paid straight into your bank account every four weeks in arrears. If you have several tenants on benefit we will combine all the payments into one. You will be able to view a list of payment details for each tenant.

Non-Dependant Deductions

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Anyone who lives with you and is over 18 who is not your partner, child, joint tenant or sub-tenant, is called a non-dependant.

It is expected that they help towards your rent and/or Council Tax. Even if you don’t get any money from them, we will take something from your Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit. The amount deducted depends on the non-dependant’s age and income.

The tables below show how much we take from Housing and Council Tax Support per week depending on what the non-dependants income is.

Housing Benefit

Non-Dependant's Income Deduction (Per week)

Under 25 on Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (Income based), Employment Support Allowance which does not include an amount for the support component or work related activity component or Universal Credit where the award is calculated on the basis that the non dependent does not have any earned income

Nil
Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) Main Phase £15.85
25+ on Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance £15.85
18+ and not working £15.85
Receiving Pension Credit Nil
18+ and working (Gross Earnings)  
Under £143 a week £15.85
£143 - £208.99 a week £36.45
£209 - £271.99 a week £50.05
£272 - £362.99 a week £81.90
£363 - £450.99 a week £93.25
£451+ a week £102.35

Council Tax

Non-dependant's Income Deduction (per week)

Non-dependant's Income Deduction (Per Week)
On Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Pension Credit Nil
18+ and not working £4.05
18+ and working (Gross Earnings)  
Under £207.70 a week £4.05
£207.71 - £360.09 a week £8.25
£360.10 - £447.39 a week £10.35
£447.40+ a week £12.40

Volunteering

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You need to tell us about any volunteering that you do while on benefits. You can volunteer as long as the work you do is unpaid, and you meet the rules of your benefit.

Debt Advice

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For information and advice about debt and ways to manage your money visit our Money Advice Pages.

Changes to Temporary Absence Rules

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If you are receiving housing benefit and are likely to be out of Great Britain for more than 4 weeks then the new rules may affect your entitlement to housing benefit.

Please contact the benefits team or call us on 01622 602557 for details.

The new rules will apply to all benefit claimants, both working age and pension age.

You can find more details about the changes on the GOV.UK website.

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