The benefit cap
The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that many working age people can receive. It can make it difficult for you to pay rent or meet other living costs.
Who is affected by the benefit cap?
The benefit cap applies if you are of working age and in receipt of benefits over the below amount.
If you're affected by the cap, the maximum amount of benefit you can get is:
Families with children and couples
The cap cuts your universal credit or housing benefit until your overall benefit entitlement is within the cap.
If the total amount of benefits you receive is more than your benefit cap limit, you will not be entitled to any Housing Benefit.
Find out which benefits are included in the cap on the government website.
When you're exempt from the benefit cap
The benefit cap won't apply in the following situations.
You earn more than £139.52 a week or £604.59 a month
The cap won't apply if you get universal credit and earn at least £139.52 a week or £604.59 a month.
Your earnings can be from an employer or through self-employment.
If you claim as a couple, it's your combined earnings that count.
We have an Employability Team that offers support and advice to help you find a job. This includes practical support such as CV writing and interview skills, training opportunities and work experience. Visit our employability pages for more information.
You receive certain disability or carer’s benefits
You may qualify for a 9-month grace period before your universal credit is reduced if you stop work or your monthly earnings fall below £604.59.
Your monthly earnings must have been at least the following over the last year:
- £617 for the months after 1 April 2021
- £604.59 for the months before 1 April 2020
Combined earnings count if you claim as a couple.
The cap won't apply if you qualify for working tax credit.
Get help if you are struggling to pay your rent and other household bills
To make sure you're claiming everything you're entitled to, use this benefits calculator
If you would like help to calculate your benefit entitlement or advice about claiming, please contact us.
Our Tenancy Sustainment Team is here to help you manage your money and to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to in terms of benefits and support. Talk to them if you need a bit of extra support on topics such as:
- checking your benefit entitlement
- claiming benefits
- helping with debt issues
- managing your money
- furniture and charitable grants.
You can contact our Tenancy Sustainment Team on 0115 915 4920, by email or text DOSH to 80800 followed by your name and message and we'll call you back for free.