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What is a benefit cap?

The Government caps the total amount of benefit 'working age' people can receive to ensure they do not receive more money in out of work benefits than they could reasonably expect to earn from working.

The cap was introduced in April 2013 and applies to the income from main out-of-work benefits, plus child benefit and child tax credit.

If the capped amount is less than your weekly housing benefit, you will see your housing benefit reduced by the capped amount.

If the capped amount is greater than your weekly housing benefit, a minimum amount of 50p per week will remain in payment.

From November 2016 the amount of the cap has reduced; those who are already affected by the cap will have their Housing Benefit amended from 7 November 2016 to the new capped amount.

Those who will be capped for the first time will start to have their Housing Benefit amended from week commencing 7 November 2016.

The cap prior to 7 November 2016 was:

  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you're in a couple, whether your dependant children live with you or not
  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you're single, whether your dependant children live with you
  • £350 per week (£18,200 per year) if you're single and you do not have dependant children, or your dependant children do not live with you

The cap from 7 November 2016 is:

(The cap limit depends on where you live in the UK)

Inside Greater London

(London Borough of Hillingdon falls within this category)

  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 per year) if you're in a couple, whether your dependant children live with you or not
  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 per year) if you're single, whether your dependant children live with you
  • £296.35 per week (£15,400 per year) if you're single and you do not have dependant children, or your dependant children do not live with you

Outside Greater London

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

There is a "grace" period of 39 weeks before the cap is applied for people who have continuously been in work for the previous 12 months.

Read more about the benefit cap, including the benefits and tax credit income which counts towards the cap.

You should have received a letter from either London Borough of Hillingdon or the DWP informing you that you will be subject to the benefit cap.  If so, are you aware of how this will affect you and what options are available to support you?

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 24 Jul 2017 at 15:47