What is the Benefit cap?
The Benefit cap was introduced from the 15 July 2013. The cap limits the amount of benefit people who were able to work could receive while not working. This does not apply to people aged 65 and over.
The current cap is:
- £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 and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you
What if the cap applies?
If you are affected by the Benefit Cap what can you do?
The government are stressing the option of moving into work in order to avoid the cap but this will not be possible for some of those affected. Other options include:
- See if you are entitled to a benefit which exempts you from the cap which you may not already be claiming
- Make up the shortfall in Housing Benefit using other income or savings or reducing expenditure on non essentials
- Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment
- See if your landlord will agree to reduce your rent
- Move to cheaper accommodation or a cheaper area
For more information on the Benefit Cap please visit the Gov.uk website.