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The Benefit Cap

​The Benefit Cap applies to all benefit claimants of working age. The cap limits the total benefits you receive to:

  • £350 per week for single people without children
  • £500 per week for everyone else

The cap is calculated by adding up all the benefit​s you receive including Housing Benefit, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group).

What it could mean for you

You may receive less benefit as there’s a limit to the overall amount of benefit you can claim. So the more benefits you receive, the bigger the cut in your benefit. Use the welfare reform benefit calculator to see how you could be affected.

Benefit calculator

Changes to the Benefit Cap   

From Monday 7 November 2016 there will be a further reduction in the Benefit Cap for existing capped claimants. From Monday 12 December 2016 the new cap will then apply to anyone new to the Benefit Cap:

  • £385 a week outside London.
  • £442 a week in London.



Will you be affected by the Benefit Cap?

Families who receive Working Tax Credits or who work enough hours to claim tax credits are exempt.

Use the Tax Credit calculator to find out if you're eligible.

If you've been continuously employed for 12 months, and you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won't apply to you for the first 39 weeks of your claim.

You're also exempt if you or your family receive:

  • Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Support component of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Industrial injuries benefits

The cap doesn't apply if you're of pension age, or you receive war widows' or war widowers' pension.

If you claim Universal Credit you won't be affected if you have an in-work exemption.

Preparing for the changes

Here are some things that can help with preparing for the change: