There is a limit on the total amount of benefit a household can receive.
From 7th November 2016 for working-age households, the total household welfare payments will be capped to £385 per week for couple and lone parent households, and to £258 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.
You may be able to get some additional support for your housing costs through a Discretionary Housing Payment.
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
- 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 from July 2013)
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Employment and Support Allowance with a support component.
- War Pension Scheme payments (including War Widows/Widowers Pension and War Disablement Pension)
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- An award of Universal Credit which includes the carer’s element
3) You will not be affected by the cap if you have recently been in work (or are still working).
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.
If you have been employed continuously for 12 months, and you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won't apply to you for the first 39 weeks of your claim.