What is the Benefit Cap?
In 2013, the Government introduced the first "cap" (maximum limit) to the total amount of benefit working age people can receive if they are not working. A second cap was introduced in 2016.
The actual amount of benefit currently paid, including Housing Benefit (HB), is now limited to:
- couples with children - £384.61 per week (£20,000 per annum)
- couples without children - £384.61 per week
- lone parents (and the children you have responsibility for live with you) - £384.61 per week
- single persons - £257.69 per week (£13,400 per annum)
Housing Benefits are reduced so that you do not get more than the cap figures that applies to your circumstances. However, your Housing Benefit cannot be lowered below £0.50 per week. Therefore, the full reduction may not affect you until, if applicable, your circumstances change in such a way that you will be moved across to Universal Credit. At this point the full reduction will apply.
If your Housing Benefit is paid direct to your landlord, you will need to pay the shortfall in benefit payment to your landlord, or your rent will fall into arrears.