The benefit cap

The benefit cap summary

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get. This is called the benefit cap. The government introduced the benefit cap to ensure that workless households no longer receive more in benefits than the average working family, after tax and national insurance. Therefore, if a workless household receives more in benefits than the government says they should, their housing benefit will be reduced or 'capped'.

If your benefit has been capped you may have to use money from your other benefits to pay some or all of your rent. The benefit cap will also form part of the universal credit system.

The benefit cap applies to the combined income of:

  • Out of work benefits such as jobseekers' allowance, income support and employment and support allowance, except where the support component is in payment
  • Housing benefit
  • Child benefit and child tax credit
  • Universal credit
  • Other benefits such as incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance, bereavement allowance, widowed parents allowance, guardian's allowance and maternity allowance

How much is the benefit cap? 

  • £423.46 per week for couples and couples with children
  • £423.46 per week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £283.71 per week for single adults who do not have children, or whose children do not live with them

The amount of housing benefit that you receive each week will be reduced to the cap amount. If you don't receive enough housing benefit to have it reduced to the cap amount then you will be paid a nominal amount of 50 pence each week.

You can use the benefit cap calculator (GOV.UK) to find out how the benefit cap will affect you. 

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) will provide support to help you find or move closer to employment.   

Last updated: 29/04/2024 12:02