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Check if the Benefit Cap will affect your Housing Benefit

This advice applies to Scotland

The Benefit Cap is a limit to the total amount of money you can get from benefits. If your benefits would add up to more than the limit, your Housing Benefit will be reduced.

If you get the housing element of Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit

Your housing element will be reduced so you don’t get more than the Benefit Cap. Check the Benefit Cap rules if you get the housing element of Universal Credit.

Check if your benefits will be affected

Your circumstances might mean the Benefit Cap won’t apply to you - it’s important to check.

The Benefit Cap doesn’t apply to you if:

If you or your partner stopped work recently

The Benefit Cap doesn’t apply if you or your partner stopped work less than 9 months ago and both of the following apply:

  • you worked for 50 weeks in the year before you stopped working
  • you haven’t got Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance since you stopped working

If you live in temporary accommodation or you get care and support

Unless the amount of other benefits you get adds up to more than the limit, the Benefit Cap doesn’t apply to you if:

  • you live in temporary housing

  • your landlord’s a charity and they give you care or support

You’ll still get Housing Benefit, but your other benefits will be reduced so you don’t get more than the Benefit Cap.

Check what the Benefit Cap limit is

The amount of money you can get in benefits before the Benefit Cap applies depends on things like:

  • where you live
  • if you're single
  • if you have children in your household - this means they live with you and you’re responsible for them
Your circumstances Benefit Cap limit
In a couple or have children and live outside London £423.46 a week
In a couple or have children and live in London £486.98 a week
Single and live outside London £283.71 a week
Single and live in London £326.29 a week

If you don’t think your benefits should have been reduced

You should challenge the decision if you think a mistake has been made when calculating your benefits. Find out how to challenge a benefit decision.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need more help working out how the Benefit Cap will affect you or if you want help challenging a benefit decision.

Check if you can apply for a discretionary housing payment

If you get Housing Benefit or the housing costs part of Universal Credit and are affected by the benefit cap, you could apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP).

Your local council doesn’t have to give you a DHP - it depends on your circumstances. If your local council agrees to give you a DHP they’ll tell you:

  • how much you'll get
  • when the payments will stop.

If you still need help after your DHP stops you can apply again.

Contact your local council and ask how to apply. You can find out how to contact your local council on mygov.scot.

Get extra help with your living costs

If your benefits are reduced because of the Benefit Cap you might be able to get help with your living costs, for example help paying your rent.

Check what extra help you could get if you don’t have enough to live on.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need more help with your living costs because your benefits have been reduced.

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