Application for Discretionary Housing Payments / Exceptional Hardship Funds
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Notes to read before you fill in this form.
Discretionary Housing Payments and Exceptional Hardship Funds are only for helping with short term problems including those caused by COVID-19, and are not intended to cover long term budgeting situations with your rent or Council Tax.
If you are awarded a Discretionary Housing payment, it will be paid with your Housing Benefit. If you receive Universal Credit, any Discretionary Housing Payment will be paid to whoever receives the Housing Costs element of your Universal Credit, but paid by the Council separately. If you are awarded an Exceptional Hardship Fund payment to help with your Council Tax, it will be credited to your Council Tax account to reduce the amount of Council Tax you owe.
How much you will be awarded depends on your individual circumstances. Each case is looked at individually and is paid for different periods of time. There is no guarantee that an award will be made – these payments are discretionary.
To qualify for a Discretionary Housing Award you must be in receipt of Housing Benefit, or the Housing cost element of Universal Credit (UC) and there must be a shortfall between your Housing Benefit (or the Housing cost element of your UC) and your rent that you cannot afford. To be eligible for an Exceptional Hardship Fund Payment you must be liable for payment of Council Tax and be able to demonstrate that you are suffering financial hardship.
If you are awarded any support in the form of either a Discretionary Housing Payment and/or an Exceptional Hardship Fund payment, you must tell the Benefit section straight away if your circumstances change. (Contact@sefton.gov.uk or 0345 140 0845 (calls cost 2p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge)). If you are not sure if the change will affect your award, tell us anyway. To prevent losing your entitlement to Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, you must tell us of any change in your circumstances within one calendar month of the change.
Note:
To complete this form you will need:
- Your Benefit Case reference number or
- Your Council Tax account number, or
- Your National Insurance number, or
- Your reference number if you have already saved your data
Please select retrieve if you have entered a reference number or select start application to start a new claim