Benefit cap changes

Last Updated:

The Government has announced that the cap on the total amount of welfare benefits that, mainly out-of-work, households can receive has changed with effect from 7 November 2016.

The maximum amount of benefit paid will be:

  • For couples or lone parents the total amount of welfare benefit entitlement will be capped at £384.62 per week.
  • For single adults this will be £257.69 per week.

Capped households will see a reduction in their housing benefit payments but the cap will apply only to working age claimants.

The following households will be exempt from the cap:

Those in receipt of:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (From April 2013)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • The support component of ESA
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent war disablement pensions and payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • War Widows and War Widowers pension
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance.

Those entitled to:

  • Working Tax Credit

If a claimant, partner or ex-partner has been engaged in paid employment or self employment for 50 out of the 52 weeks immediately preceding their last day at work and during that time the claimant or partner has not claimed IS, JSA or ESA they will be exempt from the cap for a grace period of up to 39 weeks.

Where the benefit cap would not apply

Claimants will not be capped where someone in the household (claimant, partner or any children they are responsible for and who live with them):

  • Obtains work and becomes entitled to Working Tax Credit;
  • Receives one of the benefits that exempt recipients from the cap

If you are concerned about how any of these changes might affect you further information is available or you can email us. Alternatively, you can contact the benefits team on 01732 876376.