Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
The Benefit Cap
The Benefit Cap was introduced on 15 July 2013 to set a limit on the amount of benefit that individuals of a working age receive. This is known as a benefit cap.
The aim of the cap is to stop people getting more in benefit payments than the average wage (after tax and National Insurance). Some benefits, however, will be made exempt .
Housing Benefit will also be one of the benefits that will be reduced, in a situation where the claimants benefit income reaches the cap level. The cap is most likely to affect families with more than four children. The benefit cap, however will only apply to working age individuals.
The Current Benefit Cap
The latest Benefit Cap amounts are available on gov.uk.
The following benefits count towards the benefit cap:
These benefits all count:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (except where it includes the support component)
- Guardian's Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent's Allowance
- Widowed Mother's Allowance
- Widow's Pension
- Widow's Pension (age-related)
The following households will be exempt from the Benefits Cap:
- Households that include somebody who is receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Constant Attendance Allowance. This includes those who will receive the Personal Independence Payment which will replace DLA for individuals of working age (aged 16 to 64) from April 2013
- Households entitled to Working Tax Credit
- War widows and widowers
It won't apply if you or your partner is of 'pension age' (currently the state retirement age for women). You can use the GOV.UK State Pension Age calculator to check when you reach 'pension age'.
The benefit cap does not apply for 39 weeks from the date you claim benefit if you or your partner have been working continuously for the previous 12 months and you lost your job through no fault of your own.