The benefit cap

The benefit cap puts a limit on the total amount of benefits you can receive.

The benefit cap sets a limit on the amount of benefits you can receive.

It only applies if you are under State Pension age and you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If you get either of these benefits then your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may be reduced if your total benefit payments are more than the benefit cap amount below.

Some people are exempt - more details about this are below.

Benefit cap amount

The benefit cap amount is:

  • £384.62 per week for couples (with or without children) and single parent households

  • £257.69 per week for single adults.

(There are increased limits for people living inside Greater London. See the page Benefit cap amounts if this applies to you).

Some people are not affected by the cap.

Benefits included in the cap

When calculating your income the following benefits are included:

  • Universal Credit

  • Bereavement Allowance

  • Child Benefit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Employment and Support 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 Widow’s Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)

Exemptions to the benefit cap

The benefit cap won't be applied to you if you:

  • get Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0)

  • get Universal Credit because of a disability or health condition that stops you from working (this is called ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’)

  • get Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability

  • get Universal Credit and you and your partner earn £604 or more a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions

You’re also not affected by the cap if you, your partner or any children under 18 living with you gets:

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Carer’s Allowance

  • Child Disability Payment (was Disability Living Allowance for children)

  • Support component of Employment and Support Allowance

  • Guardian’s Allowance

  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • Adult Disability Payment

  • War pensions

  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

If you are claiming Universal Credit you can check whether the benefit cap will apply to you on the page Benefit cap calculator.

If you're affected by the benefit cap

If the benefit cap means you are struggling to pay your rent you could be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) - if you receive this it is not counted as income when calculated the benefit cap. Find more information about this on our page Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you need more advice about benefits

Check if you're entitled to benefits

Use the Turn2us benefit calculator

You’ll need information on your household’s:

  • income and savings

  • outgoings, such as rent

  • existing benefits and pensions

  • council tax bill

Get help managing your money

Services that can help with budgeting, applying for benefits, and debt:

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 19 January 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England