The Benefit Cap
The total amount of benefits people aged 16 to 64 can receive is capped. The current limits are shown below, but these may be changed from time to time by the Government.
This will apply to the total amount of money you and others in your household receive from all your benefit payments.
Claims for Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-Related Employment Support Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Carer’s Allowance will all be added up, and if the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed, your housing cost payments will be cut and you will have to make up the difference from other benefits or any income you receive.
The maximum amount of benefit you can currently receive is:
- £500 per week for single parents
- £500 per week for couples with or without children
- £350 per week for single people without children
You will not be affected by the benefit cap if you:
- Qualify for Working Tax Credit (whether you claim it or not). To receive working tax credit you must work at least 16 hours a week if you are a single parent, or 24 hours a week between a couple with children.
- You or your partner receive Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment.
- Are in the support group for Employment and Support Allowance.
If you’re affected by the benefit cap you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They’ll let you know what will happen to your benefits. If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus adviser, Work Programme or Work Choice provider, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get the skills you may need for a job.
The Government has a benefit cap information line. You can contact them on 0845 605 7064. Visit www.gov.uk/benefit-cap to use a free benefit calculator to show you if you will be affected.