Benefit cap

If you receive benefits there is now a limit on the amount of money you can receive.

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According to these new rules, if you are a family you are now entitled to a maximum of £384 in benefits per week. If you are a single person, you are entitled to a maximum of £257 per week.  Full details can be found here

Which benefits are included in the cap?

All working age benefits are included in the benefit cap.

If your rent is paid by Housing Benefit then that amount will be included in the benefit cap.

If the total amount you receive in benefits takes you over the cap, you will need to pay the difference to make sure all of your rent is paid.

If you receive any of the following benefits you will be exempt from the cap.

  • Working Tax Credit — if you are single and work 16 hours or more a week, or are part of a couple and work for a combined 24 hours per week
  • If you qualify for Pension Credit
  • If you or someone in your household is considered long-term sick or disabled and receives: DLA or PIPs
  • The support component of Employment Support Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carers' Allowance

The cap will not apply to you if you have worked for 50 out of the last 52 weeks. If you lose your job you will be exempt from the cap for 39 weeks.

I’m going to lose money, what are my options?

In the short term you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). DHP is a government scheme designed to help people cope with changes in the way their Housing Benefit is paid. It is a short-term solution to give you 'breathing space' and time to make any changes.

If you have a child who is 16 or older and is no longer in education your benefits are likely to reduce. This reduction may mean that the benefit cap no longer applies to you.

Check if you are affected by using this Benefit Cap calculator.

Great Places has a dedicated team of experts ready to offer you advice and support about getting into work – we can help you with:

  • CV writing
  • Interview skills
  • Advice about childcare
  • Career and training opportunities in your local area

To request support please get in touch here

Looking for help with managing your money? If you think you are spending too much on bills or other household items, you can find ways to reduce your outgoings and spend smarter here.