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Benefit Cap

From April 2013 a limit was introduced on the total amount of benefits that working age people can receive.


This means that non-working households will not receive more in benefits than the average earnings of working households. The benefit cap will not affect those of pension credit qualifying age.


The cap was originally set at £350 a week for single adults with no children; and at £500 for couples and families.


The cap has been lowered from November 2016 and is now set at £257.69 per week (£13,400 per year) for single adults with no children and £384.62 per week (£20,000 per year) for couples and families.


The cap will not affect you if a member of your households is claiming one of the following benefits:

          • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
          • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
          • Attendance Allowance
          • Working Tax Credit
          • the support component of Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
          • Carer’s Allowance
          • Guardian’s Allowance
          • Armed Forces Independence Payment
          • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
          • Industrial Injuries Benefits
          • War pensions/War Widow’s Pension/War Widower’s Pension

Discretionary Housing Payments, support for childcare through Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction will not be included in the assessment of the total value of benefits received.


The cap will be applied by reducing the amount of Housing Benefit paid so that the total amount of benefits received is not more than the cap level. Once households have been transferred to Universal Credit, the total amount of Universal Credit will be reduced.


If you are affected by the Benefit Cap, you should have been contacted by the Department for Works and Pensions. If you are unsure, please contact the Benefits department.


Find out more about the Benefit Cap here