Benefit Cap

For working-age households, the total household welfare payments are currently capped to £384.62 per week for couple and lone parent households and to £257.69 per week for single person households where no children are present. This was reduced in November 2016.

If you are affected your Housing Benefit will be reduced to make sure that the total amount of benefit you receive isn’t more than the cap level.

Benefits included in the cap:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the support group)
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Housing Benefit (except Housing Benefit paid to households in supported exempt accommodation)
  • Income Support
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Reduced Earnings Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Exemptions
  1. One-off payments like Discretionary Housing Payment are not included.

  2. You will not be affected by the cap if you, your partner or dependent children are entitled to the following support:

    • Working Tax Credit
    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Personal Independent Payment
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Industrial Injuries Benefit
    • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and Armed Forces Independence Payment
    • Employment and Support Allowance with a support component
    • War Pension Scheme payments (including War Widows/Widowers Pension and War Disablement Pension)
  3. You will not be affected by the cap if you have recently been in work and qualify for the 4 week extended payment of Housing Benefit.

The benefit cap is intended to increase work incentives so there is an exemption for households that are considered to be "in work." You will be considered "in work" and be exempt from the benefit cap if you are entitled to Working Tax Credit, however if you don’t work sufficient hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit, the benefit cap will still apply.

In addition, there is a grace period of 39 weeks where the benefit cap will not apply for those claimants who have been in work for the previous 12 months and find that their circumstances have changed because their job has ended.