Benefit cap 

What is the benefit cap?

This is a cap that limits the total amount of benefit you can get, including the amount of Universal Credit (or housing benefit if you are still on that). This affects you if you receive benefits and if you’re of working age but not working. This is based on the total benefits received by your household. This can often mean it does not cover all your rent so you will be responsible for the remainder.

How much is the cap? 

For single parents and couples without children: £442.31 a week in London

For single people: £296.35 a week in London.

Is anyone exempt from the cap?

The government’s aim is to encourage people who can, to work. You won’t be affected if you:

· are working but you are on a low income, or you can’t work

· or someone in family gets a disability benefit

· are retired.

If you have been working for some time and lose your job, you will get a 9-months period of grace before the cap comes into effect, to give you time to find another job.

What if am still really struggling to pay my rent?

You may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council. To claim, you will need to complete a form with details of your income and expenditure. Each council has a slightly different approach.