Manchester City Council

Technical issues

We have a technical issues that could affect some benefits payments. We're looking into the problem.

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Benefits & support The benefit cap

The benefit cap is changing

There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get. This is called the benefit cap.

From 7 November 2016 the level at which benefit is capped is changing. The new rates will be:

  • £384.62 a week for couples (with or without children)
  • £384.62 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £257.69 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.

The cap before 7 November 2016 is:

  • £500 a week for couples (with or without children)
  • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.

If your benefit was already capped before 7 November 2016 rates the new cap rates will apply straight away.

When the cap doesn't apply

The benefit cap does not apply:

  • if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit, or if you get certain benefits including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, the support component of Employment and Support Allowance
  • for the first 39 weeks of unemployment if you, or your partner, had been working continuously for the previous 12 months.

From 7 November 2016 the cap will also not apply to people who get Carers' Allowance or to people who get Guardians' Allowance.

See whether the cap applies to you, and how it’s worked out, on the government’s website: www.gov.uk/benefit-cap

The effect on Housing Benefit

If the cap affects you, we reduce your Housing Benefit so that your total income isn't above the limit. So you may have to use money from your other benefits to pay some or all of your rent. 

Sometimes you could still have a total benefit income above the cap. But this only happens if the extra amount above the cap is more than your Housing Benefit. We would only pay the minimum Housing Benefit of 50 pence a week.

Dedicated helpline

For more information and to get advice and support ring the benefit cap helpline on 0161 204 1744 Monday - Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm. Or email advice@citizensadvicemcr.org.uk and ask someone to call you back.

The helpline is operated on behalf of the Council by Citizens Advice Manchester, Shelter and Cheetham Hill Advice Centre - it is a free, confidential and independent service.

What can you do?

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