John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
  Success on DHP for people with disabilities - multi year awards now possible
See this question here.

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to encourage local authorities to make longer term awards of discretionary housing payments for those people with disabilities.

Steve Webb (The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions; Thornbury and Yate, Liberal Democrat)
As announced in the autumn statement discretionary housing payment (DHP) funding will actually be increased by £40 million in 2014-15 to £165 million. The increase in DHP for 2014-15 is relative to the previously announced Government allocation for 2014-15 of £125 million.
This gives local authorities the confidence they need to make longer-term awards for people with on-going needs.
DWP provides local authorities (LAs) with a guidance manual regarding DHPs, along with a good practice guide which offers advice on how DHPs can be used to provide support to claimants affected by some of the key welfare reforms. The guidance is clear that LAs can consider making long term or indefinite awards for disabled people. Guidance for 2014-15 is currently being reviewed and will continue to highlight this.
This information for 2013-14 can be accessed through the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/233096/discretionary-housing-payments-guide.pdf
Sadly although the money is available to allow awards until March 31st 2016 the City Council's computer systems can only make awards for one year. This confirms that more money is being made available (one of my priorities).

This gives the figures for Birmingham and England as a whole.
 
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