Benefit cap

There's a limit on the total amount of benefit that working age people can get; this is called the 'benefit cap'.

Residents affected by the benefit cap will have their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit reduced so that their weekly income is no higher than these cap levels.

As of November 2016, the level of the cap is:

  • £384.62 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £384.62 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £257.69 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them

You can find out which benefits are included in the cap and which are not on the GOV.UK website.

If you are affected by the benefit cap we may be able to help you in the short term. You may be able to apply for a discretionary housing payment or a council tax discretionary reduction.

If you think the cap should not apply because you, your partner or any children you are responsible for when working out your housing benefit, receive one or more of the above benefits you can report this to the benefit cap helpline. The helpline number is 0345 605 7064 or textphone 0345 608 8551 for people with hearing or speech impairments. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Stopping the benefit cap applying to you

Finding work could mean that the benefit cap won’t apply to you if you are able to get Working Tax Credit. You can find out more about Working Tax Credit on the GOV.UK website, including how many hours you need to work to get it.

For help in preparing and looking for work contact the helpline number on 0345 605 7064 to make an appointment to see a work coach.

You can also find help moving from benefits to work on the GOV.UK website.

Also see

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