Benefit cap

The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount in benefits that most working age people can get.

Weekly benefit cap

  • £384.62 a week for couples (with or without children living with them) 

  • £384.62 a week for single parents whose children live with them 

  • £257.69 a week for single adults who don’t have children or whose children do not live with them 

This means your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may go down so the total amount of benefits you receive is less than the cap level. 

You can find out if the benefit cap affects you by using the government benefit cap calculator

Who is affected

The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household including any benefits you, your partner or any dependent children who live with you receive. 

The cap applies to: 

  • Universal Credit 

  • Bereavement Allowance 

  • Child Benefit 

  • Child Tax Credit 

  • Employment and Support Allowance 

  • Housing Benefit 

  • Incapacity Benefit 

  • Income Support 

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance 

  • Maternity Allowance 

  • Severe Disablement Allowance 

  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001) 

Who is not affected

You will not be affected by the benefit cap if you receive: 

  • Working Tax Credit - even if the amount you get is £0  

  • Universal Credit - where you and your partner earn more than £604 a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions 

You are not affected by the cap if you or another person in your household gets any of the following benefits: 

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme 

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment 

  • Attendance Allowance 

  • Carer’s Allowance 

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 

  • Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component) 

  • Guardian’s Allowance 

  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme) 

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 

  • War pensions 

  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension 

If you’ve been employed continuously for 12 months and you lose your job through no fault of your own the benefit cap will not apply to you for 39 weeks after you lose your job. 

The cap does not apply if you or your partner are above the State Pension age and receiving Housing Benefit. 

Where to get support

If you’re worried or confused about how the benefit affects your household there are things you can do that might help. 

Get help finding a job

Finding work could mean that the cap will not apply. 

If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus work coach, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job. 

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but need extra help with rent or moving costs then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

Advice

If you need more assistance or advice our Debt page may be able to help put you in touch with people who can help.  

If you’re a:  

  • housing association tenant - your landlord may be able to help 

  • council tenant - contact our Rent Account Team on 01903 737723