Advice and support icon

Household Benefit Cap

Since August 2013, the government has capped the total amount of benefit paid to people of working age who claim out of work benefits. The cap does not affect people of pension credit age, those claiming working tax credit, war pensions or some people on disability or sickness benefits.

What is the cap?

From 7 November 2016 where the cap applies, your total household benefits will be capped at:

Inside London:

  • £296.35 a week for a single person without dependent children, or whose children who do not live with them
  • £442.31 a week for couple or a family

The £442.31 cap applies however many children you may have.

Outside London

  • £257.69 a week for a single person without dependent children, or whose children who do not live with them
  • £384.62 a week for couple or a family

The amount of cap that applied before 7 November 2016 was:

  • £350 a week for a single person without dependent children, or whose children who do not live with them
  • £500 a week for couple or a family

The benefits that count towards the cap are:

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widow's Parent's Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
These benefits counted towards the benefit cap until 7 November 2016:
  • Career's Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance

How will the cap work?

If your total benefit (apart from Council Tax Support) is more than the cap, the excess amount will be taken off your Housing Benefit andyou could be at risk of losing your home.

So if you think you may be affected by the cap, youmust getadvice.

Will the cap affect me?

Even if your benefits aremorethan thecap, you will not be affected if you or your partner:

  • are old enough to claim pension credit (this will include anyone aged 61 plus by September 2013)

  • claim Working Tax Credit

  • claimEmployment and Support Allowance and are in the support group

  • claim a war pension, including a war widow or widower’s pension

  • industrial injuries benefits

You will not be affected if you or anyone in your household:

  • claims Disability Living Allowance

If you were working for a period before you claimed out of work benefits, there may be a 39 week delay before the cap is applied to you.

What help can I get?

The best way to avoid getting your benefits capped is to get into work. There is plenty of employment support available in Islington, including free training andadult education to help you prepare for work and help you overcome the challenges and barriers that may have prevented you from looking for work before now.

The council's new iWork team is working with all households affected by the benefit cap and can help you draw up an action plan to move away from benefits and into work.

The amount of benefit each household receives depends on your individual circumstances. To help you work out if you will be affected by the cap, try the GOV.UK online calculator at www.gov.uk/benefit-cap.



Was this information helpful?
  1. Please select


  2. Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.