Discretionary housing payments

wooden house next to money and a calculator

If you are receiving universal credit (which includes an allowance for housing element) or housing benefit, but are still struggling with your bills, you can apply for extra financial help, known as a discretionary housing payment. 

There is no fixed rate for discretionary housing payments. They are calculated on your individual circumstances.

The most we can pay is the difference between your universal credit housing element or your housing benefit, and your eligible housing costs, including rent and any service charges detailed in your tenancy agreement. 

Discretionary housing payments cannot:

  • pay towards mortgages, council tax, fuel, heating, water, sewerage, food, or increases in rent to cover arrears.
  • pay towards carpets or household appliances.
  • provide support where you have moved to non-affordable accommodation and would rely on discretionary housing payments long term.
  • provide support for any period you have already received help towards your rent but have not paid your landlord.
  • provide support for a period when you were not in receipt of universal credit or housing benefit, even if you have started claiming it now.

If you are renting from a private landlord, we may be able to help you with a rent deposit or rent in advance. We may also be able to help you with removal costs. Please note that if you are moving into the Lichfield District, you must make this claim from the local authority you are moving from.

Discretionary payments are only given to those most in need and are awarded entirely at the council's discretion - read our policy to find out more.