The Benefit Cap places a limit on the total amount of benefit a working-age household can receive. Total household welfare payments are limited to:
- £20,000 per year (£384.62 per week) for couple and lone parent households
- £13,400 per year (£257.69 per week) for single person households where no children are present
In Doncaster, the Cap affects lone parents and couples with 3 or more children, unless they are exempt. It is not expected to affect any single claimants.
If your total benefits exceed the above amount, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Doncaster Council's Housing Benefit department will contact you if they haven't done so already. Any income above the Cap amount will be deducted from your Housing Benefit, leaving you to pay the shortfall. The maximum amount that can be deducted is the full Housing Benefit minus 50p.
However once households move onto Universal Credit, the full Cap will be applied. For lone parents and families with children, everything above £20,000 per year will capped, meaning the family will need to manage within their reduced income.
Click here to find out ways to manage the Benefit Cap.
Chris and Sam live with their 4 children. The rent for their council property is £75 per week.
Their benefit income is £475 per week, made up of Jobseekers Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit – which is paid direct to St Leger Homes.
The new Benefit Cap of £384.62 per week is introduced which reduces their Housing Benefit by £74.50 per week, leaving 50p of Housing Benefit in payment.
They now have to use money from other benefits to pay £74.50 per week to St Leger Homes.
After the Cap, their total benefits are £400.50 per week, which is still above the Benefit Cap for a couple with children.
When they transfer onto Universal Credit (the date for this is not yet known) their total benefits will reduce to £384.62, making them worse off by a further £15.88 per week.
Exemptions from the cap.
Households (claimant, partner and any children) who receive any of the following are not affected by the Benefit Cap:
- Working Tax Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- The support component of Employment and Support Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- War Widows or War Widowers pension
Households who receive the following benefits will also be exempt:
- Carers Allowance
- Guardians Allowance
Those who have been in employment for 52 weeks or more when they claim benefit are exempt from the Cap for up to 39 weeks.
You can check if you are affected by the Benefit Cap using our Welfare Reform Calculator. This will provide an estimate of how much your Housing Benefit could be reduced by.
Click here for the list of benefits that count towards the Benefit Cap.
Click here for further information on the Benefit Cap.