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Benefit cap – how does it affect residents

Which benefits it applies to, and how we work it out.

How much benefits are capped at

The level of cap is:

  • £442.31 per week for lone parents or couples
  • £296.35 per week for single people without children.

How the cap is worked out

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

  • bereavement allowance / widowed parent’s / mother’s allowance
  • carer’s allowance
  • child benefit
  • child tax credit
  • employment support allowance (except where the support element has been awarded)
  • guardians allowance
  • housing benefit
  • incapacity benefit
  • income support
  • jobseekers allowance
  • maternity allowance
  • severe disablement allowance
  • widow’s pension.

Example of how the cap is worked out

A resident is a lone parent with five children and has a weekly income of £413.35, made up of:

  • income support: £339.45
  • child benefit: £73.90.

Currently they get £108.70 a week in housing benefit. The total amount of income, including housing benefit, is £522.05.

This is £79.74 above the benefit cap, meaning the resident’s housing benefit award would be reduced by £79.74 to £28.96 a week. The resident will need to make up the £79.74 shortfall from their other income.