Benefit cap

Image of stick person with a megaphone and the text "Take charge of the change" Sets limits on benefit income

The Government has set a cap on the amount of income a household can receive in any given year, when the majority of the income is from state benefits.

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of household income you can get if you’re of working age (16-64). It applies to the benefits you get as a household. This includes benefits and received by you, your partner and dependent children living with you. 

The benefit cap will only affect you if you’re getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If the cap affects you, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit is reduced by the amount of money you get above the benefit cap limit.

How much is the cap?

From 7 November 2016 the amount a household will be able to receive per week as income will be:

Couple or have children

  • £442.31 in London
  • £384.62 outside London

Single person

  • £296.35 in London
  • £257.69 outside London

Benefits included in the cap

Benefits not included in the cap

You’re not affected by the cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the following benefits:

Other Income not included in the cap:

  • Discretionary housing payments
  • Council tax support/reduction
  • Budgeting loan/advances
  • One-off council crisis payments
  • Free school meals
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Winter fuel payments
  • Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay
  • Statutory sick pay

What to do if you are affected by the benefits cap

If you are unable to cover your housing costs in the short term ask your local authority about Discretionary Housing Payments 

Who to talk to

Find out whether your benefit will be capped at You can contact your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau for support. If you are worried about paying your rent please contact Habinteg Direct.