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Benefit cap

There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is known as the benefit cap and takes into account how much money you get from benefits including housing benefit, jobseekers' allowance, employment support allowance, child benefit, child tax credit and carer's allowance. 

How much is the benefit cap?

The level of the cap is:

  • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them).
  • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them.
  • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them

This may mean the amount you get for certain benefits will go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn’t more than the cap level.

Benefit cap changes from November 2016

The Department of Work and Pensions has announced that the benefit cap will be reduced from 7 November 2016, and that the change will take place over a number of weeks. They would contact people who are likely to be affected and offer support to help them to cope with the benefit cap cuts.

The new amounts for outside Greater London will be £384.62 a week (£20,000 a year) for couples with or without children and lone parents, and £257.69 a week (£13,400 a year) for single people without children.

Your Housing Benefit will not go down straight away and we will write to you to tell you the new amount of your Housing Benefit award. The impact will depend on your circumstances.

Anyone getting guardian's allowance, carer's allowance, and for Universal Credit claimants, who receive payments towards carer costs will be exempted.

More information

The benefit cap calculator can help you work out how much your benefit might be capped.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on the benefit cap and how you may be affected. Or call the Department for Work and Pensions on 0845 6057064 or textphone 0845 6088551 Monday-Friday between 8am and 6pm.