What are Discretionary payments?

Discretionary Housing Payment and Discretionary Council Tax Support are additional help you can apply for if you are already getting Housing Benefit, Universal Credit Housing Element, Council Tax Support.

The city council has limited funds for Discretionary Housing Payments funds, so these payments are normally for a temporary period. You must already be in receipt of some Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be eligible for these payments.

If you are getting Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payment will only be considered on the amount of rent Housing Benefit can be paid for after deducting costs such as water rates or fuel.

If you cannot pay your Council Tax

If you are struggling with paying your Council Tax Bill please apply for Discretionary Council Tax Reduction and we will look to see if we can help to meet some of your Council Tax bill for a short period or all of the Council Tax that you have to pay if there is a shortfall because of the following:

  • The 25 per cent entitlement reduction for people of working age
  • Non-dependant deductions
  • Shortfall due to income tapers

Make a claim for Discretionary Housing Payment/ Discretionary Council Tax Support


How do we calculate entitlement?

Any entitlement is determined by your individual circumstances and the level of income you have left after taking into account your essential expenditure.

A number of factors are taken into account before a Discretionary Housing Payment award can be made: 

  • Income 
  • Savings 
  • Other people in your home
  • Your loans and debts
  • Your money managing skills
  • Illness or disability in your household
  • Your efforts to improve your situation

What to do if you disagree with a decision 

When a decision has been made about your request for Discretionary Housing Payment or Discretionary Council Tax Support you will be notified of the outcome in writing. If you are not happy about the amount of your Discretionary Housing Payment or Discretionary Council Tax Support award, you must put you reasons in writing, so that a review of the decision can be considered.

Email: benefit.services@southampton.gov.uk

Discretionary Policy

See also: Support in a crisis