Welfare reform

The benefit cap

The government has decided that there should be a limit on how much a family (people aged 16 to 64) can receive in benefits. From autumn 2016, the government is reducing the limit so that more families who get benefits will be affected.

Who is affected?

Most households getting benefits will be affected. The benefits which count towards the cap include Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, so larger families are particularly affected.

You won't be affected if you receive certain benefits, or are working and qualify for Working Tax Credit. If your Housing Benefit is paid for supported accommodation, it will not count towards the cap.

How will I be affected?

If your benefits add up to more than the cap amount, your housing benefit will go down so that the total amount you get from benefits is at the capped level. The cap is:

  • £350 a week for single adults, reducing to £257.69 per week from autumn 2016
  • £500 a week for couples and single parents whose children live with them, reducing to £384.62 per week from autumn 2016

You can find more information about the government’s benefit cap, and a calculator to see if you’re affected, on GOV.UK (link opens in new window).