Benefit cap from 7 November 2016

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:

  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not
  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you’re single and your children live with you
  • £350 per week (£18,200 per year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you

From 7 November 2016 the cap will reduce to the following:

  • £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?

The Department of Work and Pensions and the Council has written to residents who will be affected by the reduced cap from 7 November 2016.

Once you know if you are going to be affected by the Benefit Cap, and by how much, you then need to find out your options.

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 click here.

 

Contact Details

03450 450 061