The Benefit Cap and Housing Benefit
The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit you can get if you're of working age. Some people are exempt from the Benefit Cap.
The Benefit Cap will only affect you if you're getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
Read this page to find out more about how you might be affected by the Benefit Cap if you're getting Housing Benefit.
What is the Benefit Cap?
The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you're of working age.
It doesn't apply to people who have reached the age where you can get Pension Credit - although it may apply if you're in mixed-age couple.
If the cap applies to you, this means that if your income from certain benefits is more than the cap, your Housing Benefit will be cut. The amount of money you get above the cap limit will be taken off your Housing Benefit.
No deductions will be made to your other benefits because of the cap, unless you're getting Universal Credit. This means that if you don’t receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, your benefits can’t be capped.
How much is the cap?
From 7 November 2016, there are differents rates for the Benefit cap - one for Greater London and one for the rest of the country.
If you’re getting Housing Benefit, the cap outside Greater London is:
- £384.62 a week if you’re a couple - with or without dependent children
- £384.62 a week if you’re a lone parent with dependent children
- £257.69 a week if you’re a single person without children
If you're getting Housing Benefit, the cap in Greater London is:
- £442.31 a week if you're a couple - with or without dependent children
- £442.31 a week if you're a lone parent with dependent children
- £296.35 a week if you're a single person without children.
If you don’t receive enough Housing Benefit, the cap won’t be applied in full.
However, some people could lose all their Housing Benefit, except for a nominal amount of 50p which will continue to be paid.
Who is exempt from the cap
Some people are exempt from the Benefit Cap.
This means your benefit won't be capped, even if your benefit income is above the limit of the cap.
You might be exempt from the cap if:
- you work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit, even if you don't get it
- you've reached the age for getting Pension Credit - although you may not be exempt if you're in a mixed-age couple
- you, your partner or any children living with you who you're responsible for get certain benefits for sickness, disability or caring
- you or your partner had been in employment for at least 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks before your last day of work
- you or your partner get War Widows or Widowers Pension.
If you or your partner have been in work for at least 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks before your last day of work you might be exempt from the cap - but only for 39 weeks from your last day of work.
Which benefits are included in the cap?
The cap applies to your household income from most benefits, including Child Tax Credit. However, there are some benefits which the cap won't apply to.
- The Benefit Cap and Housing Benefit - who is exempt?
- The Benefit Cap and Housing Benefit - which benefits are included?
- The Benefit Cap and Housing Benefit - what you can do to prepare
Other useful information
- You can get more information about the Benefit Cap on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk