Benefit cap

What is the benefit cap?

From 15 July 2013, there is a maximum amount of benefit that a household, defined as an individual, their partner, and any children they are responsible for and who live with them, can be entitled to.

When does the benefit cap start?

The cap started in July 2013. From the 7th November 2016 the thresholds will be lower.

At what level is the benefit cap going to be set?

The level of the cap from July 2013 is:

From the 7th November 2016 the benefit cap amounts will reduce to:

Does the benefit cap apply to pensioners?

No, it only applies to working age households. If one member of the couple is of pension age and the other is working age then the cap will not apply.

What happens if a household's benefits are more than the cap level?

Housing benefit will be reduced to bring the benefits received down to the cap level. However, at least 50p per week of housing benefit will still be paid.

No other benefits will be reduced even if the total of benefits remains above the cap level after housing benefit has been reduced by the maximum amount.

Which benefits will be taken into account when calculating the cap?

Which benefits and payments will not be taken into account when calculating the benefit cap?

Which benefits will exempt claimants from benefit cap?

If an individual, their partner or any children they are responsible for and who live with them in a household are entitled to the following the cap will not apply.

How can I find out whether I will be affected and by how much?

If you are likely to be affected then you will have received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions warning you about this. You may also have been contacted by the Job centre or us about this.

You can get an estimate of how much benefit you may lose by contacting the telephone number on the letter from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Is there any protection for somebody who has just lost their job?

Yes, if you or your partner have worked for over 12 months, then you will be protected from the cap for 39 weeks.

Can you appeal against the decision to cap benefits?

You cannot appeal against the decision to apply the benefit cap. However, if you think that the cap amount has been calculated incorrectly you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions to review this.

What can I do if I am affected by the cap?