Extra help, crisis support and DHP
On this page
Get help with your application
We can give advice, and help you complete claim forms for Housing Benefit, council tax reduction and free school meals. We can also provide a translation and sign language service.
Contact the benefits team to get extra help.
Other benefits you may be entitled to
There's information on the government's website about all available benefits, and tools to help you work out what you can get.
Discretionary housing payment (DHP)
DHPs are short term payments that help cover your housing costs. If you’re finding it difficult to pay your rent, we might able to offer you a DHP. You can apply if:
- you already receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
- your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn't cover the full cost of your rent
DHPs are not for:
- services that are included in your rent
- making up reductions in benefit due to sanctions or overpayments
- paying an increase in your rent due to arrears
- paying your council tax
DHPs are limited, so we have to make sure we are helping the people who need it the most. We will consider your income, expenditure and personal circumstances. We will also look at what you’ve done to improve your own financial situation before making a decision.
Make savings in your spending
The DHP fund is not available to support a lifestyle. We will look at areas where we feel you could make savings - for example, you could reduce a television package, get a better utilities deal or switch supermarkets.
Speak to your landlord
If you rent privately and you are a good tenant your landlord may accept a lower rent for a short period of time. All landlords should be willing to discuss a repayment plan on existing arrears.
Increase your income
You might be able to increase your work hours, or take on agency work if you’re looking for something full-time. You may be entitled to other benefits – for example, if you are unable to work, Personal Independence Payments may help.
Are you in the right property for you?
You might be living in a property that you can’t afford. A move to a more suitable property now could give you a healthier financial future. Register with WHG's Choose and Move service, and talk to local property agents about your needs.
Is the household contributing?
Working out if other members of the household could contribute more, even short-term, may get you through a difficult patch.
To support your application, you’ll need to provide the following evidence:
- proof of your rent payments
- proof of your rent arrears
- Universal Credit award that proves inclusion of the housing element
- proof of deposit or rent in advance amounts
- recent bank statements
There is no formal right of appeal for a DHP decision. If your application is declined you can ask us to reconsider, and provide further evidence to support this.
Free school meals
You can apply online for free school meals if your child attends school within Walsall Borough and you meet the eligibility criteria.
Council tax discounts, reductions and exemptions
You may be eligible for council tax reduction. You can apply online.
Find out when you're eligible, what you'll get, and apply online on the government's website
Walsall crisis support scheme (WCSS)
If you or your family need support in emergency circumstances you can apply for a crisis award. An award will be in the form of goods, such as a cooker, that we will buy for you.
You can apply for a crisis award if there is a severe risk to the health and safety of you or your family that cannot be met from another source. For example:
- no access to essential needs (food, heating and clothing)
- deterioration in health
- domestic abuse, neglect and harm
- breakdown of the family unit
A crisis is an event such as major flooding, gas explosion or a house fire. It can also be having no funds available to meet daily living expenses. It is different from the pressures of managing on a low income.
Community Care award
This type of award is no longer available.
How to apply
You can apply for a crisis award below. We are no longer accepting applications for the Community Care award. You will need to supply information that validates your need, circumstances and eligibility.
Download the WCSS policy for full details about eligibility, and the application and appeals process.
WCSS Policy:Download PDF (351.68 KB)
Contact the Housing and Welfare Support team to discuss an application.
An appointee deals with the benefits of a person who cannot manage their own affairs because they’re mentally incapable or severely disabled.
You can download an application form to become an appointee, and find out more on the government’s website.