Search site

Benefit Cap

What is the Benefit Cap?

The Benefit Cap limits the amount that a household can receive in benefit.  It applies to those aged 16 to 64.  The Benefit Cap applies to benefits such as Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Income Support and Job Seekers allowance.  Here is a full list of benefits that are included in calculating the Benefit Cap.


What should I do if I think I may be affected?

If you think you may be affected you can contact our Welfare Reform Team. We are on hand to provide you with a wide range of advice and support.

You must find a way to pay your rent or you are at risk of losing your home, you may be able to do this by:

  • Paying the shortfall in your rent from other income you have
  • Maximising your income by finding employment that will qualify you for Working Tax Credit so that you are no longer affected
  • Applying money management techniques to your income and expenditure
  • Moving to cheaper accommodation


How much is the Benefit Cap

New Benefit Cap (Started November, 2016)


£384.62 a week

Single person with no children

£257.69 a week


How is the Benefit Cap calculated?

The Department for Work and Pensions works out which households will be affected by the Benefit Cap.  Where a household is receiving more benefit than the above limit the Housing Benefit claim will be reduced to bring the total amount of benefit in line with the Cap. 



Megan aged 38 is a lone parent with three children. Her weekly income is:

  • Income Support - £73.10
  • Child Tax Credit - £170.92
  • Child Benefit - £48.10
  • Housing Benefit - £118.26

This gives a weekly total of £410.38. As Megan does not work and she is not in receipt of a benefit that exempts her, her Housing Benefit will be reduced by £25.76 a week so that her total benefit does not add up to more than £384.62 a week.


Are there any exemptions from the Benefit Cap?

The Benefit Cap will not apply if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit

There are other benefits that qualify the household for an exemption, the full list is:


More information

You can find further information, including a benefit calculator here

Reed in Partnership provide back to work support.  You can find further information on their websites.

Work Routes Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window Helping people to work Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window