There is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits most working age households can get. This is called a benefit cap. You are of 'working age' if you are under the qualifying age for Pension Credit.
The Government will add up how much money you get from a range of beneﬁts that include:
- Housing beneﬁt
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Beneﬁt
- Child Tax Credit
- Bereavement Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
If the total comes to more than the most allowed we will reduce your housing beneﬁt.
The most you can get
From November 2016, the maximum amount of beneﬁt you can get will be limited to:
- £384.62 a week (£20,000 a year) for single parents
- £384.62 a week (£20,000 a year) for couples with or without children
- £257.69 a week (£13,400 a year) for single people without children
This will not apply to you if:
- you get Pension Credit or Working Tax Credit
- someone in your household is claiming Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or the support part of Employment and Support Allowance
The cap won’t apply if you’re responsible for a child or young person gets Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence payment or an Armed Forces Independence Payment.
The benefit cap doesn't apply if you or your partner:
- receive Working Tax Credits
- work enough hours to claim working tax credits
Use the Gov.uk tax credits calculator to check if you're eligible.
If you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won't apply for the first 39 weeks of your claim. You must have been employed for 50 out of the last 52 weeks. Time working abroad or on zero-hours contracts counts for this.
If you claim Universal Credit, you won't be affected by the cap if you or your partner are in work and your joint take-home pay is at least £520 per month.