The Government places a cap on the total amount of benefits a working-age household can receive. Unless they qualify for an exemption, the cap (outside of Greater London) will be set at £384.62 per week for lone parents and couples (with or without children) and at £257.69 per week for single adults.
The benefits included in the cap are:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (except where the support component has been awarded)
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
Any other benefit or income not listed above will not be taken into account when applying the cap.
The benefit Cap is targeted at out-of-work families. However, if you work enough hours to qualify for working tax credits you will not be affected by the Cap.
All pensioners are exempt from the cap.
For working-age households the cap will not apply where the claimant, partner or any dependent child receives, or is entitled to, any of the following:
- Disability living allowance or personal independence payment
- Attendance allowance
- Working tax credits
- War Widows, War Widowers or War Disablement pension
- Employment and support allowance (support component)
- Industrial injuries benefits
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments
Additionally, the cap will not be applied for 39 weeks to those who have been in work continuously for the previous 12 months and who lose their job through no fault of their own.
You can find out more about this change by calling the DWP Helpline on 0845 605 7064 or textphone 0845 608 8551 for people with hearing or speech impairments.