The Benefit Cap
What is the Benefit Cap?
The government put a limit on the total amount of benefit (including Housing Benefit) that most people can receive. This is called the 'Benefit Cap'.
When was the Benefit Cap introduced?
The Benefit Cap was introduced across the UK from April 2013.
Who is affected?
The Benefit Cap affects everyone aged 16 to 64 whose income from benefits is more than:
- £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them
If your total income from benefits is greater than those limits (based on your circumstances), your Housing Benefit will be reduced until it is lower than the cap.
Please note that if your benefits are reduced, you will be responsible for paying Paradigm any shortfall in rent. If you build up arrears, you could risk losing your home.
Who isn't affected by the Benefit Cap?
You are exempt from the Benefit Cap if you are:
- more than 64 years old or,
- entitled to or receiving Working Tax Credit - click here for more infomation
You will also be exempt if you receive one of the following:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (from April 2013)
- Attendance Allowance
- The support component of Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- Industrial Injuries Benefits
- War Widows and War Widowers pension
What can I do if I am affected?
If your income from benefits is reduced by the Benefit Cap, you may need to consider:
- moving to cheaper accommodation
- seeking advice around getting back into employment or increasing your hours to become entitled to Working Tax Credits
Where can I find more information?
- You can visit the government’s benefit website
- You should contact your local Job Centre Plus or your local council if you have any further questions around the Benefit Cap:
- You can check what benefits you are entitled to through this benefit calculator.
- For support and guidance around budgeting, contact or visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau
- To try to exchange your home visit www.homeswapper.co.uk