What is the Benefit Cap?
- The Benefit Cap will limit the total amount of benefit that people between 18-65 years can receive.
- Your housing benefit or universal credit is reduced so that you don’t get more than the benefit cap limit.
- The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household. It includes benefits received by you, your partner and dependent children who live with you.
- The benefit cap is worked out weekly if you get housing benefit and monthly if you claim universal credit.
Will the Cap apply to everyone?
No. The Cap will not affect you if:
- You, or your partner receive Pension Credit.
- You, your partner, or your dependent child gets Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
- You, or your partner, have recently finished work. You will be exempt for 39 weeks from the date you stopped working, or
- You, or your partner, receive any of the following:
- Employment and Support Allowance (support component),
- Working Tax Credit
- Carer’s Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- A War Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Guardian’s Allowance
Universal Credit, but only if:
- The award includes a Limited Capability for Work element, or
- You and your partner (if you have one) have gross earnings of at least £430 per month.
- You, or your partner, qualify for the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
If you think that you meet the qualifying conditions for any of these benefits, then make sure you claim them as this will mean the Cap will not apply to you.
Can I claim Working Tax Credits?
You can get Working Tax Credit if you or your partner are working enough hours a week and your income is low enough – see the table below for the number of hours you need to work depending on your circumstances. You do not need to have children to qualify.
|Circumstance||Hours a week|
|Aged 25 to 59||At least 30 hours|
|Aged 60 or over||At least 16 hours|
|Disabled||At least 16 hours|
|Single with 1 or more children||At least 16 hours|
|Couple with 1 or more children||Usually, at least 24 hours (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)|
How much will my benefit be capped at?
- £257.69 a week for single adults & £384.62 a week for couples and families.
The Benefit Cap reduced on 7th November 2016. Existing caps will be amended and families newly affected by the cap will be notified over the coming months.
What income will be taken into account?
Income from these benefits will be added up:
- Housing Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment & Support Allowance (except where Support component is awarded)
- Universal Credit
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parents Allowance
- Widow’s Benefit
- Bereavement Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
If the total is more than the maximum amount allowed, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced.
What if I lose my job, will I be affected?
If you have been employed continuously for 12 months and you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won’t apply to you for the first 39 weeks of your claim.
What can I do?
Look at options for finding work – You won’t be affected by the cap if you, and you or your partner are working. Families who receive working tax credits or who work enough hours to claim working tax credits are exempt.
Apply for financial support while you follow an Into Work Action Plan – If you agree to engage with the Into Work Advice Service, Cardiff Council may be able to award you a Discretionary Housing Payment for some or all of the shortfall. The Council has a limited amount of money to make these payments and can only make payments to those in greatest need. The Money Advice Team at Cardiff Council can help you to apply.
Review your finances – The Money Advice Team can advise you on debt and budgeting. They can also make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to and will look to see if you may qualify for any extra help such as discounts on your utility bills.
Speak to someone to discuss your options – Visit Cadwyn or contact Cadwyn’s Welfare Reform officer on 029 2049 8898 or alternatively visit one of the Cardiff Council Hub’s where they can help you.
Benefit Cap Emergency WeekFrom Monday 20th February 2017 - Friday 24th February 2017
|Central||Central Library Hub|
|Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
(Thu 10am - 6pm)
|Mon - Fri 9am -5pm
(Wed 10am - 6pm)
|Ely||Ely and Caerau Community Hub|
Cowbridge Road East
|Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
(Thu 10am- 6pm)
|Tremorfa and Splott||Star Hub|
|Tue 9am - 5pm
Fri 9am - 5pm
|St Mellons||St Mellons Hub|
30 Crickhowell Road
|Fri 9am - 5pm|