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Housing Benefit: Disability

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th March 2014.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

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.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

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

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