Maximum DHP and LHA

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    I have read several treads regarding the maximum DHP that can be awarded. We have come up with and idea which could potentially reduce the amount of DHP given out in some cases.

    We have several cases where the RO decision is less than elligible rent. Therefore DHP is being paid to cover the shortfall. However the LHA rate is not less than the elligible rent. So we were thinking we could get the claimant to withdraw their claim for a week then reapply to get them onto the LHA scheme. To combat the problem of the break in entitlement we were thinking we could pay DHP for the first week of the new claim upto the value of rent liabilty. For example:

    Elligible rent £100
    HB (LHA) £100
    DHP £100

    Therefore claimant would get paid £200 for one week and £100 thereafter.

    I understand from the other threads that the actual amount of HB doesn’t have to be taken into account regarding the DHP -it just has to be in payment.

    Can anyone think of anything stopping us from doing this?


    I know of at least one LA which does it quite often. I guess it works something like this:
    You can’t give a DHP for the week when there’s no entitlement to HB but you can give it for past periods when there’s a shortfall between HB and rent. So, you award a DHP for a past period which is then paid as a lump sum. I can’t think of any particular prohibition to prevent you doing that.


    We have already awarded for the previous period so I was thinking we could pay for the week following the break but effectivly pay it twice so pay HB upto the full rent liability and pay DHP upto the full rent liability? Sorry it’s difficult to put into word so I’ll do an example:

    06/07/09 to 19/07/09 HB £90 pw and DHP £10 pw
    20/07/09 to 26/07/09 Nil benefit as claim withdrawn
    27/07/09 to 02/08/09 HB £100 pw (LHA) [b:709d966f38]and[/b:709d966f38] DHP £100pw
    03/08/09 HB £100

    I understand that DHP can be awarded upto the rent liability regardless of how much HB is actually in payment so we can effectivly pay twice for the same week?


    Theoritically, the combination of HB and DHP could amount to more than the rent liability. But I think that you must identify some period when there’s a shortfall between rent and HB and award the DHP for that, up to the amount that you want to pay. If previous shortfalls have already been covered by DHPs then I don’t see a way of awarding any more. I don’t think that you can simply award a DHP for the first week of new entitlement under LHA because there’s no shortfall to be covered. It would be interesting to hear some other opinions though.


    Sorry to pour cold water over the idea, I always thought that it was possible for Hb & DHP combined to be more than the rent but para 25 of Garett said

    “I should explain that, although the amount of housing benefits already received for the relevant period is not expressly specified as a deduction in 12 (3) (b) (i) to (iii), it is accepted by Mr Knafler that, by virtue of the provisions in Regulation 2 of the 2001 Regulations that DHPs that are “further financial assistance” with “housing costs”, housing benefits already paid for past housing costs must also be deducted. That is implicit in the purpose for which DHPs may be made. Otherwise, the applicant would be receiving DHPs for housing costs that have already been met by past payment of housing benefits. It would not be a case of a need for “further” financial assistance to meet “housing costs.”

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