Housing Benefit cap

Cap on total amount

The total amount of household benefits that working age claimants can get is now capped. The cap is set at the level of the average take home pay.  Find benefit cap guidance  on the UK Government website. There is also a cap calculator on the website.

The new cap rates from 7 November 2016 are

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you're in a couple, where your children live with you or not
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you're single and your children live with you
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you're single and you don't have children, or your children don't live with you.

The cap will not normally apply to people of Pension Credit age. The cap will not apply if the claimant or partner is entitled to Working Tax Credit.

The benefit cap won't apply if you, your partner or any children living with you can get any of the following benefits

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits and the equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation scheme
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • the support group amount of Employment and Support Allowance
  • War Widow's or War Widower's pension
  • War pensions
  • Armed Forces Compensation scheme
  • Armed Forces Independant payment.

The cap will be delayed for 39 weeks where the claimant or partner has worked for 50 weeks or more in the last 52 weeks. 

The cap will apply to all income from

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance except where it is paid with the support group amount
  • Housing Benefit, paid direct to you or to your landlord. Some housing benefit does not count. Please see the note below.
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Widowed Mother's Allowance
  • Widow's Pension, including the age related
  • Component.

To begin with, the cap will only reduce the amount of Housing Benefit. The Department for Work and Pensions will then apply the cap to Universal Credit.

If you are affected by the benefit cap and need further information about who to contact then please refer to our leaflet below. 

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