The benefit cap

From April 2013 the Government introduced a maximum amount of benefit that a household of working-age can claim. This is known as the benefit cap. If the cap affects you, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit is reduced. It’s been in place since April 2013 but went down further on Monday 7 November 2016.

Annually these changes work out as: £23,000 for a family, couple or single parent in London £15,400 for a single adult in London £20,000 for a family, couple or single parent outside London £13,400 for a single adult outside London.

If the cap applies it means that your income from certain benefits is more than the cap. This means the amount of money you get above the cap will be taken off your housing benefit (HB). For example if you are £50 above the cap then £50 is deducted from your HB.

If the cap applies it means that your income from certain benefits is more than the cap. This means the amount of money you get above the cap will be taken off your housing benefit (HB). For example if you are £50 above the cap then £50 is deducted from your HB.

This amount is only deducted from housing benefit so if you don’t receive HB you cannot be capped. If a customer is £50 above the cap then £50 is deducted from their HB. You are expected to make up the shortfall in your rent through your other benefits - it does not mean that your rent is reduced.

The cap is calculated by adding together all of the benefits a household receives. The cap does not currently include non-dependants living with the claimant – for example a son or daughter who is no longer receiving child benefit, or a relative or friend.

You are exempt from the cap if you or your partner qualifies for working tax credit even if your entitlement is nil. Exemptions also apply to single people and lone parents working at least 16 hours a week, and couples working at least 24 hours a week, provided one partner is working at least 16 hours.


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