The maximum amount of benefit you are able to claim is changing.

Before the changes

There was no cap on the amount of benefit that people of working age could receive.

After the changes

If you are of working age the total amount of your benefit may be capped, depending on your personal circumstances. This change began in July 2013.

Benefit Cap update

From November 7, 2016 the cap has been reduced. Outside of London, the caps are now set as follows:

  • Couple/lone parent: £384.62 per week
  • Single, no children: £257.69 per week

Cases to be capped are identified by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who inform the Council.

From September 5, 2016, the DWP contacted customers affected by the cap reduction, in writing. The reduction was rolled out over a 12 week period commencing November 7, 2016. If customers require further advice they should phone the numbers detailed in their DWP letter.

The Council have no control over which cases are capped first, or in which order. Until the information is received from the DWP the Council is unable to advise of any amount of cap or the date it will be effective from.

Please note: From November 7, 2016 customers receiving Carers Allowance or Guardians Allowance have been exempted from the application of any Benefit Cap. The DWP will notify the council to remove the cap should the customer be exempted.


The benefit cap should not apply to you if:

  • you, your partner or your dependent child receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance
  • you or your partner receive Working Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (support component), Industrial Injuries Benefit or War Widows' Pension

New announcement

The intention is to eventually reduce the benefit cap from £26,000 per year for families to £20,000 per year for families living outside London.

What you can do

Contact the Benefits Helpline for more information about this change and advice on what your options are if you are affected.