A limit will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a ‘benefit cap’. Local councils will be introducing this between 15 April and 30 September 2013.
When the benefit cap starts
The benefit cap was introduced on 15 April 2013 to the following 4 council areas:
The benefit cap will be introduced in all other council areas between 15 July and and 30 September 2013.
What will happen
If you’re affected, your Housing Benefit will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level.
If you’re already getting benefits and could be affected by the cap you’ll be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They’ll let you know what will happen to your benefits.
If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus adviser, Work Programme or Work Choice provider, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job.
Use the benefit cap calculator to find out if you’ll be affected, and how much your benefits could go down by.
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:
- £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them
Who won’t be affected?
You won’t be affected by the benefit cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or 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.
Last updated: 15 May 2013
Benefit cap: number of households capped to August 2013 – Published 3 October 2013
Benefit cap statistics – Published 10 October 2013