benefit-changes-logo-rgb-b_v_Variation_1The government has set a limit on the amount of benefit people can receive so that you will never receive more in benefit than you would if you were in work. The cap applies to all people claiming benefits who are of working age but are not currently in work.

The government says that the average amount of benefit lost is around £83 a week. If the cap does apply to you then any extra benefit you receive above the cap will be taken from your Housing Benefit. When you move to Universal Credit it will be taken from that.

Click the links below for more information.

  • Who is exempt?

    • Single people or couples who are of pension age
    • Households where one or more members receive Working Tax Credit
    • Households where at least one member receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Constant Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payments
    • War widows and widowers
    • Households where you, your partner or a dependent child receive carers allowance or guardians allowance
    • People in receipt of industrial injuries disablement
  • What is the cap

    • £350 a week for single adults with no children
    • £500 a week for couples and lone parent
    From November 2016 the revised cap will be:
    • £258 a week for single adults with no children
    • £385 a week for couples and lone parent
  • Which benefits are included?

    • Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Child Benefit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Universal Credit
  • Examples

    Here’s an example of how much you could have left if your benefit gets capped:

    • The Smith family have 6 children.
    • Both Mr and Mrs Smith are of working age and unemployed.
    • One of their children is entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
    • The cap is introduced April 2013 and at this time they are not affected.
    • In 2014 the child’s DLA is reassessed and stopped.
    • The family’s benefits are now being reduced by £20.55 a week (loss of DLA) and £56 a week (loss of Tax Credits)
    • They are no longer exempt from the cap.
    • This means they will lose all of their Housing Benefit.
    • They will now have to find the full rent of £150 (for their 4 bedroom house)

    Couples with fewer children will get the same benefits but they won’t be as far over the cap as the couple with 6 children, and so won’t have to find as much to make up their rent.

  • What can you do?

    • Get budgeting advice. If you’re getting less benefit and need some help with budgeting, please contact our Advice & Support Service for advice.
    • Consider moving to a smaller property. It could be worthwhile speaking to your Housing Services office to see whether you could move to a smaller property with cheaper rent. Contact your Tenancy and Estates Officer to discuss your options.
    • Look for work. If you are able to work, getting a job may bring in enough money so you don’t need to claim benefits, or you may be able to increase the number of hours you already work. Check out the getting a job section of this website for further information. 
    • Get benefit advice: click here for more detail.