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Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap applies to the combined income from the main out of work benefits, plus Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits

The amount a household can receive in benefit payments is capped at:

  • £384.62 per week for couples and lone parents
  • £257.69 per week for single adults

Claimants will not be capped if a member of the household either

  • becomes entitled to Working Tax Credit or
  • receives one of the benefits that exempts recipients from the cap

My Housing Benefit payment has been reduced and I can't pay my rent - what can I do?

  • Ask family or friends if they can help make up the rent shortfall
  • Draw up a household budget listing all your income and outgoings to see if you can reduce spending to prioritise rent payments
  • Discuss the problem with your landlord, it may be possible to negotiate a rent reduction or move to cheaper property
  • Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. This is an extra payment to help people who are struggling to pay the rent as a result of the welfare reforms. It is a temporary payment to help with rent shortfall, rent deposit or for help with removal costs for your move to cheaper accommodation
  • If faced with homelessness, contact our Housing Advice team to discuss your options

I don't agree with the income used to calculate the cap. Who should I contact?

If you believe that the income used is incorrect, you should contact the Department for Work & Pensions.

Their contact details can be found on any correspondence you have received from them.  If you think that the cap has been applied incorrectly to your Housing Benefit, please contact us on 01507 601111

Which households are exempt from the benefit cap?

Households are not affected by the benefit cap if a member of the household is entitled to

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carter's Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (if in support group)
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • War Widow's or Widower's Pension
  • Working Tax Credit

Will the benefit cap affect pensioners?

If you are over the qualifying age for Pension Credit the benefit cap will not be applied. If you are a couple of different ages and the youngest claims out of work benefits, the cap will still apply.

What can I do to avoid the Benefit Cap?

Check if anyone in your household is eligible for any of the exempt benefits. For example, if you increase the number of hours you work so you are eligible for Working Tax Credit your household will be exempt.

I am struggling with the cost of living - what can I do?

If you do not have enough money to live on you will have to find ways to increase your income, cut your spending or both.

East Lindsey Citizens Advice can check you are getting the benefits you are entitled to, assist with monthly budget planning and suggest ways to cut costs.

Call 03444 111 444 for free, confidential and impartial advice.

Where can I get help with household budgeting?

An online budgeting tool can help you work out your household income and outgoings.

The Money Advice Service also offer free, impartial money advice. Call them on 0800 138 7777