About the Benefit Cap
There is a limit on the total amount of benefit a household can receive.
For working-age households, the total household welfare payments will be capped to £500 per week for couple and lone parent households, and to £350 per week for single person households where no children are present.
If you are affected your housing benefit will be reduced to make sure that the total amount of benefit you receive isn’t more than the cap level.
Benefits included in the cap:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the support group)
- Guardian's Allowance
- Housing Benefit (except Housing Benefit paid to households in supported exempt accommodation)
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Reduced Earnings Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent's Allowance
1) One-off payments like Discretionary Housing Payment are not included.
2) You will not be affected by the cap if you, your partner or dependent children are entitled to the following support:
- Working Tax Credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independent Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Employment and Support Allowance with a support component.
- War Pension Scheme payments (including War Widows/Widowers Pension and War Disablement Pension)
3) You will not be affected by the cap if you have recently been in work and qualify for the 4 week extended payment of Housing Benefit.
The benefit cap is intended to increase work incentives so there is an exemption for households that are considered to be "in work." You will be considered "in work" and be exempt from the benefit cap if you are entitled to Working Tax Credit, however if you don’t work sufficient hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit, the benefit cap will still apply.
In addition, there is a grace period of 39 weeks where the benefit cap will not apply for those claimants who have been in work for the previous 12 months and find that their circumstances have changed because their job has ended.
There is advice and support available to help you manage any change to your income:
Department for Work and Pensions
Contact the Department for Work and Pensions if you believe you shouldn’t be affected by the Benefit Cap
- Telephone: 0845 605 7064
- Textphone: 0845 608 8551
HM Revenues and Customs
Find out if tax credits can help you and your family
Get Oldham Working programme
Support to help you find a job
- T: 0161 770 4674
- Get Oldham Working
Help with Rent team
Support to help you cope with the changes to the way your benefits are calculated
- T: 0845 120 2093
Oldham Citizens Advice Bureau
Free debt, benefits and housing advice
- T: 03448 472 638
Welfare Rights Service
Help and advice to make sure you are claiming all that you are entitled to
- T: 0161 770 6655
- Ask for help with benefits
Discretionary Housing Payment
You may be able to get some additional support for your housing costs through a Discretionary Housing Payment
- Telephone 0161 770 6633
- Discretionary Housing Payment
Worried about how benefit changes might affect you? Phone lines are open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Advisers at Access Oldham can talk you through the benefits, how to claim them & additional support.
Oldham, OL1 1UG
(For Sat Navs use OL1 1NL)
Welfare reform calculator
Use the welfare reform calculator to find out how you may be affected by recent changes to the benefit system.