Benefit Cap

Use the benefit cap calculator to find out if you'll be affected, and how much your benefits could go down by.

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get including the Housing Benefit award. The amount your household gets from some benefits might go down to make sure you do not get more than the cap limit.. 

Income used by the DWP in this assessment

All of the following benefits will be used to assess the Benefit Cap:

You will not be affected by the cap if you are over pension age (currently the state retirement age for women) or if you or a member of your household (claimant, partner or any children you are responsible for and who live with you) receives one of the following benefits:

  • Working Tax Credits
  • Disability Living Allowance (Personal Independence Payment from April 2013)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • The support component of Employment Support Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • War Widows and War Widowers pension
  • If you have been in employment for 53 weeks or more when you claim benefit you will also be exempt for up to 39 weeks
  • the support component of Employment Support Allowance
  • the limited capability for work and work related activity element of Universal Credit
  • Carers' Allowance (including underlying entitlement)
  • Guardians Allowance.

You should not also be affected if you live in supported accommodation - please ask us if this is unclear

You can use the calculator on the Government's website to check when you reach 'pension age'.

How will the Cap Work?

The Department for Work & Pensions will decide if you exceed the Benefit Cap and then instruct the District Council to reduce the amount of Housing Benefit payable. Note that this is a decision made by the DWP and no the Council.

If you receive such a letter, please contact the Benefits Section.

What help is available to me?

The decision to 'cap' your benefit is one made by Jobcentre Plus and not the Council. 
  • If you consider the calculation of the Benefit Cap is incorrect i.e. you think the DWP has made a mistake - please tell the Benefits Section and we will be happy to write to the DWP to check this;
  • Where the Benefit Cap is calculated correctly and Housing Benefit has been reduced, you can request that we pay a Discretionary Housing Payment to reduce any resultant hardship. 
  • Citizen Advice Bureau may be able to help in completing a 'benefit health check' to see if other benefits or allowances may be claimed to take you out of Benefit Cap.

Please contact the Benefits Section for further advice or clarification where required.