Changes to the benefit cap

From November 2016 the Government is lowering the limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get. 

Previous weekly benefit cap

  • £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

New weekly benefit cap

  • £385 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £385 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £258 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.

This will mean that your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn’t more than the cap level.

Use the benefit cap calculator on GOV.UK to find out how the benefit cap may affect you.

Where to get support

If you're worried or confused about the impact that the benefit cap might have on your household there are things you can do that might help.

Get help getting a job

Finding work could mean that the cap wouldn’t apply if you're entitled to Working Tax Credit, or if you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your earnings are more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance.

You can find out more about Working Tax Credit, including how many hours a week you need to work to get it, on GOV.UK.

The Jobcentre can help you to look for work and help you get the skills you need to find a job. You may already meet regularly with one of their work coaches. If so, they will continue to help you.

If you don’t have a work coach the Jobcentre will contact you and ask you to come in and see them. They can help you find work, learn new skills, support you to manage your money better and with options for child care. If you call the helpline on 0345 605 7064, they can arrange an appointment for you more quickly. 

Other support available

  • You can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if you're affected by the benefit cap. The Council has limited funds to be able to offer this help, so any awards are likely to be for the short-term and dependant on you taking steps to find work.
  • The Welfare Support Scheme may also be able to provide further financial support to help pay for essential daily living needs, household items or bills.

More information

Visit Benefit cap on GOV.UK for more information, or call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) helpline on 0345 605 7064.

Please note that the Council will work with social landlords and the Department for Work and Pensions to provide tenants who are affected with appropriate advice and guidance. This may involve sharing Household and Financial information. Any information shared will be relevant and proportionate.

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