The Benefit Cap
What will happen?
If you are affected, your Housing Benefit will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get is not more than the cap level. Your Housing Benefit will be reduced to a level where the total amount you are paid in all benefit cap income is Â£500 (Â£350 for a single person) or to 50p if the amount to be capped exceeds your Housing Benefit.
If you are already getting benefits and could be affected by the cap, you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They will let you know what will happen to your benefits.
If you are seeing a Jobcentre Plus adviser, Work Programme or Work Choice provider, they will continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job. If you start work and meet the qualifying conditions for working tax credit, you will no longer be affected by the benefit cap
Use the benefit cap calculator to find out if you will be affected, and how much your benefits could go down by.
What is included?
The cap will apply to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)
How much is the benefit cap?
The level of the cap will be:
- Â£500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- Â£500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- Â£350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them
Who will not be affected?
If you start work and meet the qualifying conditions for working tax credit, you will no longer be affected by the benefit cap. Nor will you be affected if you or your partner already qualifies for Working Tax Credit or if anyone in your household gets any of the following benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
- Employment and Support Allowance, if you get the support component
- War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
You might be affected by the cap if you have any grown-up children who still live with you and they qualify for one of these benefits. This is because they won’t normally count as part of your household.