The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount in benefits that most working age people can get.
Use our benefits calculator to find out how the benefit cap may affect you.
Weekly benefit cap
- £423.46 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £423.46 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £283.71 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them.
This may mean the amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you get will go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn't more than the cap level.
Who is affected
The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household. This means that benefits received by you, your partner and dependent children who live with you, are affected.
The cap applies to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:
- Bereavement Support Payment
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Universal Credit (unless you've had a work capability assessment and aren't fit for work related activity or are a carer)
- Widowed Parent's Allowance (or Widowed Mother's Allowance or Widow's Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)
Who will not be affected
You're not affected by the benefit cap if you receive:
- Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0) or
- Universal Credit, but only if you and your partner earn more than £722 a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions
You're not affected by the benefit cap if you or another person in your household gets any of the following benefits:
- Carers Allowance
- Guardian's Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
- Industrial Injuries Benefits
- War Widow's or War Widower's Pension
- War pensions
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Armed Forces Independent Payment
If you've been employed continuously for 12 months, and you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap might not apply to you for 39 weeks after you lose your job. This is known as the grace period.
If you meet the qualifying conditions for Working Tax Credits, but do not receive payments because of your income, you should still be exempt from the benefit cap
The cap does not apply to households who qualify for pension age benefits.
Where to get support
If you're worried or confused about the impact that the benefit cap might have on your household there are things you can do that might help.
Get help getting a job
Finding work could mean that the cap won't apply.
If you're seeing a Jobcentre Plus work coach, they'll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job.
Find local opportunities, training courses and support groups on the One Front Door website.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but need extra help with rent or moving costs then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
Get some advice
- Bristol Law Centre
- Bristol Citizens Advice
- North Bristol Advice Centre
- St Paul's Advice Centre
- South Bristol Advice Services Go to https://www.southbristoladvice.co.uk/ (opens new window)
- Talking Money
If you're a housing association tenant your landlord may also be able to help.
Find more advice centres on the ACFA website.
Get help with money and debt problems
Find out about budgeting, how to deal with debt problems and getting money in an emergency on our help with money and debt problems page.