Reply To: Does DLA count?


Was it R on the application of Turner v Brent HBRB or Barnet HBRB? I think it was Brent.

In any case, this related to the old “exceptional hardship” provisions, where the test was much harder to satisfy. It is now sufficient simply for a claimant to show that they need “further financial assistance (in addition to the benefit or benefits to which they are entitled) in order to meet housing costs.” (The Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations – Reg. 2).

Note the inclusion of the phrase “in addition to the benefit or benefits to which they are entitled”. In my view if a claimant is getting DLA then the whole award of that benefit should normally be ignored – as a DHP would be “in addition” to that benefit, which, after all, has a specific purpose. As I said, though, it will all depend on the circumstances of each case and the reason that extra financial assistance is being requested.

You also need to make sure you have provisions in place for claimants to request a review of a decision on a DHP, and that if you take DLA into account you can justify this.