Since April 2013, there has been a limit on the total amount that people of working age can receive in benefits. These limits were set at the same level as the national average earnings for people in work. These were:
- £500 per week for single parents, whose children live with them
- £500 per week for couples, with or without children
- £350 per week for single people without children, or whose children don't live with them
In November 2016 the benefit cap was changed and set at:
- £384.62 a week for single parents, whose children live with them
- £384.62 for couples, with our without children.
- £257.69 a week if you are a single person
You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:
- you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit
- you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your household income is more than £520 a month after tax and National Insurance
The cap applies to the total amount people in your household (you, your partner and any children living with you) get from the following benefits:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the ‘support’ component)
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
- Universal Credit (unless you’ve had a work capability assessment and aren’t fit for work)
Benefits that aren’t included
You’re not affected by the cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the following benefits:
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Universal Credit payments towards carer’s costs or for ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’
- War pensions
- War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
If your benefits are reduced because of the benefit cap then you are responsible for making sure your rent is paid.
If you do not pay your rent, your home may be at risk. If you are unable to pay your rent you must contact us immediately to discuss this.
You may be entitled to some extra help called Discretionary Housing Payments - you can find out more about these here or by visiting the gov.uk website.
If you need help with managing your money including more information on what support is available through Waterloo, improving your budgeting skills, opening a bank account, or other organisations that can help, please follow the links or see the Help with managing your money section of this website.
If you are unsure as to whether or not you are affected by the benefit cap, you can work out your benefits entitlement by checking the gov.uk benefits calculator.