Welfare Reform FAQs

Our Inclusion Advisors work county-wide helping our tenants and customers with their welfare reform related issues including; under-occupancy, the benefit cap and Universal credit. 

There are a number of ways  Inclusion advisors may be able to help such as: advice and support to claim benefits, money and/or debt management, and advising about other help available depending on your circumstances.

If you have a question related to Welfare Reform, please have a look at the Money Advice Service web site. Alternatively if you would like our advisors to answer a question please email inclusion.advisors@cornwallhousing.org.uk

Or to speak to the Inclusion Advisor for your area, please call 0300 1234 161 and ask to speak to an Inclusion Advisor.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am under-occupying and need help to pay my rent, are there any funds which can help me?

A. You may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) through Cornwall Council.

If you are receiving Housing Benefit payments that are less than your rent payments and need help to cover the shortfall there is a limited amount of money available to help you.

If an award is granted, you will usually receive the funds on the following Monday, so it is best to apply as soon as possible.

You can apply online via the Cornwall Council website, www.cornwall.gov.uk, or call the benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121. If you receive an award, the team will expect you to work with them to find long term solutions to your financial problems.

Contact the Inclusion Advisor in your area for more information about Discretionary Housing Payments, or if you have a question for the Welfare Reform Agony Aunt.

Q. My partner and I are the only occupants living in my two-bedroom Cornwall Council property. My partner is disabled and we need separate bedrooms.  Can we qualify for an additional bedroom because of this?

A. You may be entitled to an extra room due to not being able to share a bedroom.  Your partner would need to be on the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either the high or middle rate or Personal Independence payments; Daily living component. Then they need to apply to Cornwall Councils benefit department in writing & state how their disability affects them (especially at night) and why this means that you cannot share a bedroom.

The decision is discretionary and Cornwall Councils benefit assessment team will look at whether you may be able to sleep in separate beds in the same room. If the decision is not successful then you may be able to qualify for temporary help by applying for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). Your inclusion advisor may be able to help apply for this exemption and/or applying for Discretionary Housing Payment.

You could also be awarded an extra room if:

  • A child is disabled and cannot share a room with another child. They must be entitled to the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either the high or middle rate. Evidence will be required.
  • An overnight non-resident carer stays on a regular basis. The disabled person must be receiving the care component of Disability Living Allowance at either the middle or high rate or receiving Personal Independent payments daily living component. Evidence will be required.
  • If you are a foster parent (a qualifying parent or carer) you will qualify for one additional bedroom. Evidence will be required.