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Household benefit cap

From July 2013 the Government will put a limit on the total amount of benefit that working age people can receive.

This means that households claiming out of work benefits will no longer receive more in benefits than the average wage paid to those who are working.

If you have been working continuously for 12 months and lose your job through no fault of your own, you will have a 39 week period in which the cap will not be applied.

Total benefit payable will be limited to a maximum of £500 each week for couples and lone parents and £350 for single people, though entitlement to certain other benefits may exempt you from the household benefit cap.

Local authorities will be responsible for applying the household benefit cap to new and existing claims from April 2013, through housing benefit deductions. This means that we will work out your Housing Benefit or LHA but then deduct the amount of money you in excess of the cap by.

All households expected to be affected by the benefit cap will be written to by the DWP.

Which benefits count towards the cap?

These benefits all count when working out if you are affected by the benefit cap:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (except where it is paid with the support component)
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension
  • Widow’s Pension Age-Related

Households that aren’t affected by the cap

The cap won’t apply to you if you, your partner or any children you are responsible for, qualify for Working Tax Credit or have been awarded any of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • the support component of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or
    • the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
    • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

    The Government have provided an on-line calculator for you to use and this can be found here.

    If you are unaware of your current awards or you want to find out more about this change you can phone the DWP on help line 0845 6057064, those with hearing or speech impairments can use the textphone 0845 6088551. The help line is open from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

     

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