There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get. This is called the benefit cap.
The rates are:
- £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.
When the cap doesn't apply
The benefit cap does not apply:
- to people who are old enough to qualify for pension credit
- 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) to people who get either Carers' Allowance or 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 is not above the limit. 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.
What can you do?
- If you disagree with our benefit cap decision contact our benefits service
- Get debt and borrowing advice
- Consider moving to a home with a lower rent - Look for a home.
- When you have received a letter from us to tell you that your benefit has gone down, if the benefit cap causes you real financial hardship and your circumstances make it difficult for you to move, you can apply for temporary ‘discretionary’ payments
- Contact Citizens Advice Manchester
- Contact Shelter
- Get job seeking advice or support
- Speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach
- Get advice from the DWP