What is the Benefit Cap?
The benefit cap limits the amount you can be paid if you claim certain benefits. It applies to people of working age. People of pension age are exempt.
When all your benefits are calculated, your housing benefit or universal credit is reduced so your total benefits don't go above the benefit cap limit of £385 each week.
The benefit cap is worked out
The weekly amounts are:
The new amounts are summarised in the table below - use monthly for Universal Credit and weekly for Housing Benefit.
The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household. It includes benefits received by you, your partner and any dependent children who live with you.
What you need to do is add all the benefits you receive from the following list.
Benefits included in the cap
The benefit cap calculation includes these benefits:
The benefit cap doesn't apply if you or your partner:
New exclusions from the Benefit Cap
Newly excluded from the Benefit Cap are:
The carers who are excluded are:
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won't apply for the first 39 weeks of your claim. You must have been employed for 50 out of the last 52 weeks. Time working abroad or on zero-hours contracts counts for this.
You are exempt from the benefit cap if you, your partner or children receive certain benefits and some benefits and payments don't count towards the benefit cap – see the link for the list of these.
If you have been affected by the benefit cap and are struggling to pay your rent, please contact your Income Officer who may be able to offer advice and assistance.
The Income Team are available on 01484 435715.
You can also visit the Money advice service website for help, advice and a personalised action plan https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/mntdemo