Benefit Cap

A limit will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a ‘benefit cap’. It will apply to non-working households. If you (and your partner) are a pensioner you will not be affected.

Who is NOT affected by this cap?

If you are of pension age you will not be affected; however you will be affected if your partner is not of pension credit age.

You will NOT be affected if you receive any of the following:  

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • Employment Support Allowance, if paid with the support component
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments
  • War Pension Scheme payments (including War Widow’s/Widower’s Pension and War disablement Pension)

 For more information on who will be affected go to:

 Which benefits will be cut and how is it all calculated?

If the cap applies to you then any extra benefit you have above the cap will be taken from your Housing Benefit. When you move to Universal Credit, the extra will be taken from that.

The cap will apply to the combined total of the main ‘out of work’ benefits which includes:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Carer’s Allowance

The cap will not include one-off benefits, such as Social Fund loans, or non-cash benefits like free school meals. In Work Credit and Return to Work Credit will not be included as they are there to encourage people back into work.

At the moment, it is estimated that the cap will be:

  • £350 per week for single adults with no children, or whose children don't live with them
  • £500 per week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £500 per week for single parents whose children live with them

When will the benefit cap start?

The cap is currently being piloted in 4 London Boroughs. It will apply to everyone from October 2013. Anyone who has been working for at least 12 months adn become unemployed through no fault of their own will have 9 months delay before the cap applies to them.

Help and advice

It is important that if  you think you are affect you talk to us immediately. It may be that you are exempt or there may be other benefits you can claim. You may be able to get extra help towards your rent if you are struggling; or we could help you find a job.