Benefit Cap

The maximum amount of benefit that most people of working age can receive is:

  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 per year) for single people without children
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 per year) for single parents
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 per year) for couples, whether you have children or not.

To see how your benefit could be capped please use the benefit cap calculator.

Any benefit you receive above these amounts will be deducted from your Housing Benefit. If this puts you into financial difficulties, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

The following benefits count towards the weekly cap:

  • Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent’s/Mother’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (contribution and income based), except where the support component has been awarded
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Job Seeker’s Allowance (contribution and income based)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Widow’s Pension.

If you, your partner, or any children under 18 living with you, receives the following benefits these will not count towards the cap:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance with a support component
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Limited capability for work related activity element of Universal Credit
  • War widows and widowers.

Incentive to work

You will be exempt from the benefit cap if you are considered to be ‘in work’ and entitled to Working Tax Credit, or receiving Universal Credit, and earning at least the amount you would get for 16 hours per week on national minimum wage.

If you have been in work for 12 months, but lose your job through no fault of your own, then the Cap will not apply to you for the first nine months.

If you lose your job before the cap comes into force, the grace period will run from the date you lost your job.