Changes to the benefit cap

There's a limit on the total amount of benefits that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap.

How much Housing Benefit you get may go down to make sure the total you get isn't more than the cap amount.

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduces some changes to the cap which take effect in autumn 2016. This includes a change to cap amount.

The new cap will be:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for couples, whether your children live with you or not
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for lone parents
  • £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.

Customers who are already capped may see a further decrease in their Housing Benefit from November 2016 if their income is above the new level.

We expect customers who are due to be capped to see a reduction in their Housing Benefit payment from January 2017.

You will not be affected by the cap if you or your partner work and either of the following apply:

  • You/your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit, or
  • You/your partner get Universal Credit and your income is more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance.

Some other benefits make you exempt from the cap. From November 2016 this list will also include Carer's Allowance, Guardians Allowance and carer's costs paid as part of Universal Credit. Customers who receive any of these but are capped at the moment will have their Housing Benefit increased.