Benefit cap

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can be awarded if you are of working age.

Based on current forecasts on wage levels in 2016, the cap will be set at £423.46 per week for a couple and single parent households, equivalent to a £20,000 gross salary for someone in work and around £283.71 per week for single adult households without children.

The cap

The level of the cap will be:

  • £423.46 a week for couples (£20,000 a year) with or without children living with them
  • £423.46 a week (£20,000 a year) for single parents whose children live with them
  • £283.71 a week (£13,400 a year) for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them

Those affected

If you are of working age and receive more than £423.46 per week (for couples and single parent households) or £283.71 per week (for single adult households without children) then you may be affected by the benefit cap.

If you are going to be affected by the benefit cap then you should have already received either a letter from the Department of Works and Pensions and / or a visit from the Council. However, if you are worried that you may be affected you can visit the Government's online benefits calculator.

For more help and information about the benefit cap, phone the Department for Work and Pension (DWP):

For working age benefits e.g., JSA, ESA, Income Support

For Universal Credit Live Service (Non-digital UC)

  • Call the Universal Credit Live Service - Service Centre on 0800 328 9344

For Universal Credit Full Service (Digital UC)

  • Digital - via Journal Facility in UC Digital System
  • Call the UCFS Service Centre on 0800 328 5644

Benefits included

The cap will apply to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:

Those not affected

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

  • Working Tax Credits
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Guardians Allowance
  • The support component of Employment Support Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • War pensions
  • War Widows and War Widowers pension
  • Universal Credit payments towards carer's costs or for 'limited capability for work and work related activity'
  • Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability

If you have adult children or non-dependants living with you and they qualify for any of these benefits, you may still be affected by the cap.  This is because they're not usually included in your household.