Benefit cap

A further reduction in the benefit cap was introduced on 7 November 2016. Families can only receive up to £20,000 per annum and single households with no dependent children up to £13,400. Please note:

 

  • If you are of pensionable age, the cap will NOT affect you.
  • If you are claiming disability benefits – the cap will NOT affect you.  
  • If you claim universal credit and you or your partner each earn more than £520 per month, the benefit cap does not apply.

 

 What incoming benefits does the cap take into account?

 

The following benefits taken into account include:

 

  • Child Benefit & Guardian's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the support group)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance & Bereavement Allowance

 

Who could be exempt?

 

The cap will not apply if you, your partner or any children you are responsible for have been awarded any of the following:

 

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • The support component of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

 

What does this mean to me?

 

You must pay the amount of rent that is not covered by Universal Credit or Housing Benefit direct to Saxon Weald. Rent is a priority outgoing and an important bill to pay first.  Remember: Your home is at risk if you do not pay your rent.

 

What should I do now to prepare for the changes?

 

The Department for Works & Pensions will advise you if you are affected by the Benefit Cap and the amount of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit you will lose. Please refer to the following website to calculate how the Benefit Cap will affect you www.gov.uk/benefit-cap-calculator.

       

If you are not entitled to one of the exemption benefits, you must find a job.

   

Please contact your work coach at Jobcentre Plus, who will help you look for work and help you get the skills you need to find a job. They can also support you to manage your money better and look at options for child care.

 

What help is available?

 

You should contact one of our Money Matters team for further advice. They may also be able to help you apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, to cover a proportion of the amount of rent no longer being covered by Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. Please be aware that each application is considered on its own merit and even if an award is made, this will only offer temporary assistance.

 

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