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Benefit cap

The benefit cap restricts the total amount of welfare benefits payable to claimants in working age households. It aims to create fairness between those in work and those receiving out of work benefits.

The benefit cap rates are:

  • £384.62 per week - couple, whether your children live with you or not (£20,000 a year)
  • £384.62 per week - single person, and your children live with you (£20,000 a year)
  • £257.69 per week - single person, without children, or your children don’t live with you (£13,400 a year)

If a claimant receives more in benefit payments than is allowed under the new rules, their benefit will be capped and Housing Benefit will be reduced.

The benefit cap will be applied automatically, you don't need to do anything. To understand why your benefit has been capped, you can read more about which benefits are and aren't included in the calculation. To get an estimate of how the benefit cap could affect you please use the online calculator.

If you're affected by the benefit cap and think you may struggle to manage your money, there are a number of organisations who can offer you advice.

If you've been in work continuously for the previous 12 months and lose your job through no fault of your own, you'll be protected from the benefit cap for 39 weeks.

It's not possible to appeal against the benefit cap being imposed on a claim. However, if you feel your income has been calculated incorrectly or you're in one of the exempt groups, please contact:

Department for Work and Pensions
Benefit Cap helpline
Phone: 0845 605 7064
Textphone: 0845 608 8551 (people with hearing or speech impairments)

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