The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount in benefits that most working age households can get. This amount includes DWP benefits, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.
The cap doesn't apply if you're above the qualifying age for Pension Credit.
The cap applies to the benefits received by the household. This means benefits received by you, your partner and dependent children who live with you.
Not all benefits are counted as income for the cap. Here is a list of what benefits are included Opens in a new window.
After adding up all included benefits of the household, any amount above the cap will be deducted from your Housing Benefit entitlement.
What are the new cap limits if you live outside Greater London?
From 7 November 2016, the government is lowering the cap limit.
- A couple with or without children or a single parent can receive up to £384.62 a week in benefits
- A single person can receive up to £257.69 a week in benefits
When doesn’t the cap apply?
The cap doesn’t apply if:
- You or your partner obtain work and are eligible for Working Tax Credit
- Someone in the household receives a benefit that isn't included Opens in a new window within the cap calculation
- You or your partner get Universal Credit and your household income is more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance
Where to get support
Your local Jobcentre Plus office Opens in a new window can advise and help. A work coach can give advice on employment and training to help you change your circumstances so that you may not be affected by the cap. They also have access to a wide range of other services such as debt and budgeting advice.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you are affected by the benefit cap and feel that you will not be able to afford the shortfall in your rent you may be able to get extra help through Discretionary Housing Payments. Generally awards are short term and should not be relied upon as a permanent additional income. However, these extra payments may give you the time you need to find a solution such as finding work or moving to a cheaper property.
More information on the benefit cap can be found on Gov.uk: benefit cap Opens in a new window