Benefit Cap - what do the changes mean?
Please note, those of pensionable age will not be affected by the changes to Benefits and Council Tax.
There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap.
The cap will be £350.00 for a single person per week and £500.00 per week for a couple (with or without children) or single parent whose children are living with them. This is to ensure that people can not receive more money when they are out of work than they could reasonably expect to earn if they were in work.
The benefit cap will apply only to working age claimants. Pensioners will not be affected.
There will be exemptions to the benefit cap. Individuals in receipt of one of the following benefits either for themselves, their partner, or any child they are responsible for who lives with them will be exempt from the cap. Exemptions include;
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance, if paid with the support component
- War Widow's or Widower’s Pension
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- Persons who have been in work for 52 weeks or more then lose their job are exempt for 39 weeks
The Department for Work and Pensions will work out the income for an individual or family from a list of benefits.
The benefits (incomes) used by the DWP to decide if a customer is over the cap include;
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)
If you are affected, the Cap will be applied through deductions to your Housing Benefit Payments. If you are concerned please contact Customer Services for more information and advice.
You can also call the Department of Work and Pensions Household Benefit Cap helpline on 0345 605 7064.