Benefit cap

From April 2013 a cap has been introduced on the total amount of benefit that working age people can receive. 

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This means that workless households should no longer receive more in benefits than the average earnings of working households.

The government adds up the combined income from the main out-of-work benefits, plus child benefit and child tax credits. If the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed, your Housing Benefit will be reduced.

The cap is set at £500 per week for couples and lone parents and £350 per week for single adults. From April 2016 the cap will be changed to £384 per week for couples and lone parents and £257 per week for single adults. The local authority apply the cap to new and existing claimants via a deduction from Housing Benefit.

Some people are exempt from the cap. It will not apply:

if you get Working Tax Credit or Pension Credit
if any member of your household gets Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, the support component of Employment and Support Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefits or a War Widows and War Widowers Pension.

Use the Directgov calculator and work out if you are affected

You can:

get an estimate of how much your Housing Benefit could be reduced by if you exceed the level of the benefit cap
print the results.