BENEFIT CAP UK: The government announced the introduction of the benefit cap in 2010. It got full implementation in September 2013.
Unwelcome by many, it placed a limit on the total amount of income a household can get from certain benefits.
Several things happen if you receive more than the benefit cap allows. For example, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit get an automatic reduction. Thus, your rights to benefit entitlement comes back inside the cap.
A couple, or those with children, would get capped at £500 per week up to November 2016. The limit for a single person without children was £350.
But, the benefit cap rules changed from the 7th of November 2016. It got reduced and set at several different levels. The amounts now depend on whether you live inside Greater London or outside the capital.
The update affects the amount a household can get from a list of benefits. Thus, your income might go down to ensure it does not exceed the benefit cap limit.
Benefits Included in the Benefit Cap
- Bereavement Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
Benefit Cap Exclusions and Exemptions
The current DWP benefit cap will not have any effect providing you or your partner:
- Work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit (you do not need to claim it).
- Are over the Pension Credit age requirement.
- Get Universal Credit:
- Due to a disability or a health condition that stops you from working. The correct term for this is ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’.
- Because you are caring for someone who has a disability.
- And you and your partner earn more than £658 a month combined. This income should be after tax and National Insurance contributions.
The ceiling levels will not have any effect if you, your partner, or any children under 18 living with you, receive:
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (for the support component)
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefits
- Personal Independence Payment
- War Pensions Scheme
- War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
2022 Benefit Cap Amounts Inside and Outside London
The household income for benefit claimants living outside the Greater London area gets capped at:
- £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a couple (whether your children live with you or not).
- £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a single person whose children live with them.
- £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) for a single person without children or your children do not live with you.
The household income for benefit claimants living inside the Greater London area gets capped at:
- £442.31 per week £23,000 a year for a couple (whether your children live with you or not).
- £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) for a single person whose children live with them.
- £296.35 per week (£15,410 a year) for a single person without children or your children do not live with you.
Getting Help with the Benefit Cap
The Department for Work and Pensions have a helpline for the benefit cap.
Note: You can also contact the DWP through the journal in a Universal Credit online account.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Social Security Benefit Calculator | Check how much you might be entitled to and how to make a claim.
How Benefits Work in the UK | Find out what you can get if you are ill, disabled, or retired from work.
Benefit Cap Calculator
The online tool gives you an estimate of how much your welfare benefit might get capped. You need to know the amounts of each benefit you get to use the benefit cap calculator facility.
The number of people in your household includes the claimant [you], your partner (if you have one), as well as any children you are responsible for and live with you.
Note: Claiming Universal Credit means you will be unable to check if you get affected by the benefit cap.