Benefits for working age households are now capped.
From 7 November 2016 the amount of benefits you can receive is limited to:
- £384.61 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £384.61 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £257.69 a week for single adults who do not have children, or whose children do not live with them.
The cap does not apply if anyone living in your household is claiming various disability benefits, or is eligible for Working Tax Credit, or where someone in the household is in receipt of Carer's Allowance or Guardian's Allowance, and also for Universal Credit claimants earn over £430 per month (combined net income if part of a couple), or receive a payment for providing care.
There is a also 'grace" period of 9 months where you will not be capped if you (or your partner) have been doing paid work for a period of 50 weeks out of the previous 52 weeks. During these 52 weeks you must not have been in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support.
You will be notified by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) if you are affected by the benefit cap. If you are affected then your housing benefit payment or Universal Credit award will be reduced.
For more information visit the UK Government’s Benefit Cap page to see which benefits are included and which benefits can exclude you from the benefit cap. You can also use the GOV.UK benefit cap calculator to check if you may be affected by the benefit cap.
You can also contact our welfare rights service for free, confidential advice. They will undertake an income maximisation check to ensure you are receiving your correct entitlements. They can also provide advice on claiming a Discretionary Housing Payment. Our skills team can offer you free advice about moving into work, training or education.