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The Benefit Cap


The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people of working age can get.

The amount your household gets from some benefits might go down to make sure you do not get more than the cap limit. The benefit cap affects:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  •  Child Benefit Child Tax Credit
  •  Employment and Support Allowance
  •  Housing Benefit  Incapacity
  • Benefit Income Support Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  •  Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
  • Universal Credit





How will the benefit cap affect you?


If the cap applies to you, this means that if your income from certain benefits is more than the cap, your benefit will be cut. The amount of money you get above the benefit cap will be taken from your Housing Benefit or your Universal Credit.

This will only affect you if you're getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, no deductions will be made from your other benefits due to the cap.


How much is the cap?

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






Is anyone exempt from the benefit cap?


You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner:

·         get Working Tax Credit

·         are over Pension Credit age

·         get Universal Credit because of a disability or health condition that stops you from working (this is called ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’)

·         get Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability

·         get Universal Credit and you and your partner earn more than £542 a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions

You’re also not affected by the cap if you, your partner or any children under 18 living with you gets:

·         Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

·         Armed Forces Independence Payment

·         Attendance Allowance

·         Carer’s Allowance

·         Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

·         Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)

·         Guardian’s Allowance

·         Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)

·         Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

·         War pensions

·         War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

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