The benefit cap
The benefit cap puts a limit on the total amount of benefits you can receive.
What is the benefit cap?
The benefit cap sets a limit on the amount of welfare payments a claimant can receive. This means that the total amount of benefits that can be received by any individual or family will be limited to a maximum amount:
The benefit cap from 7 November 2016 will be:
- £384.62 per week for couples and single parent households, and
- £257.69 per week for single adults.
These caps are applied monthly.
Benefits included in the cap
Most benefits are included in the benefit cap:
- housing benefit
- income support
- jobseeker's allowance
- employment and support allowance
- child benefit and child tax credits
- carer's allowance
- bereavement allowance
- universal credit (unless you're unfit for work)
- maternity benefits and widow's benefits paid by the DWP.
Benefits not included in the cap
The following benefits are not included in calculating your income:
- budgeting loans
- council tax support payments
- discretionary housing payments
- housing benefit for supported exempt accommodation
- winter fuel payments.
Exemptions to the benefit cap
You won't be subject to the benefit cap if you're eligible for:
- working tax credit
Or if your household receives:
- the in-work exemption if you have a universal credit account
- the support component of employment and support allowance
- attendance allowance
- disability living allowance (or personal independence payments from June 2013)
- industrial injuries benefit, war disablement pension, or money from the armed forces compensation scheme
- war widower's or widow's pension.
If you are not receiving disability living allowance, attendance allowance or war disablement pension because you're in hospital or a care home then the exemption will still apply.
You will also be exempt if:
- you have reached the age to be eligible for state pension
- do not get either housing benefit or universal credit
- you have been made redundant after working 50 of the last 52 weeks (you will be exempt for 39 weeks).
If you've received a letter from the DWP warning you that your benefits may be reduced, or you're worried that you'll be affected by the cap, talk to an adviser in your area.