The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount on benefits that most working age people can claim.
How much is the cap?
The total amount a single person can claim in benefits is:
- £257.69 a week outside London
- £296.35 a week in London
The total amount for single parents and couples with children can claim in benefits is:
- £384.62 a week outside London
- £442.31 a week in London
The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household. This means that benefits received by you, your partner and dependent children who live with you, are all included.
Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (UC) will be reduced to ensure that you don't get more than the benefit cap limit.
Benefits included in the cap
- Housing Benefit (unless you live in supported housing)
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you are in the support group)
- Incapacity Benefit
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Maternity Allowance
- Bereavement Allowance
- Widowed Parents Allowance (or Widowed Mothers Allowance or Widows Pension if you started getting it before 09 April 2001)
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- UC (unless you've had a work capability assessment and aren't fit for work)
Benefits and payments not included in the cap
- Carer’s Allowance
- Guardians Allowance
- 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
- Housing Benefit for supported accommodation
- UC payments towards carer's costs or for 'limited capability for work and work-related activity'
Who is exempt from the cap?
Some people are exempt from the Benefit Cap. This means their benefit isn't capped, even if their benefit income is above the limit of the cap.
For example, your benefit won't be capped if:
- you get Working Tax Credit
- you get Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- you have reached the age for getting Pension Credit (although you may not be exempt if you're in a couple where one of you is above this age and one of you isn't)
How can you find out if the Benefit Cap will affect your benefit?
Use the government's Benefit Cap Calculator to find out more about how your benefit might be affected.
What should you do if you think you will be affected?
If you are concerned about how the benefit cap could affect you, get advice as soon as you can. This will enable you to plan and work out how you will manage your finances.
If you need general advice about benefits, you could contact the Citizens Advice Bureau. You could also contact your local Job Centre Plus.