Benefit cap

From 7th November 2016, the amount of the benefit cap is:

  • £257.69 a week if you are a single person with no children living with you, OR 
  • £384.62 a week if you are part of a couple (with or without children who live with you) or a lone parent with dependent children

If you are  affected by the benefit cap you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions who will explain what the cap might mean for you

At the moment, the cap is applied through deductions from Housing Benefit payments so if you do not receive Housing Benefit you will not be capped. This will change when Universal Credit is fully introduced.

Please visit GOV.UK - Benefit Cap information and calculator for more information

What benefits are taken into account in the cap?

  • Bereavement Allowance/Widowed Parents/Mother's Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) except where the Support Component of ESA is included awarded
  • Housing Benefit (unless it is paid for Supported Exempt Accommodation - ring us to check)
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (contribution-based and income-based)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA)
  • Widow's Pension

Any benefits or other income that are not included in the above list will not be taken into account when calculating the level of the cap.

When does the cap not apply?

The cap will not apply if you are of pensionable age or receive any of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (formerly Disability Living Allowance)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if paid with the support component
  • Carer's Allowance (including the equivalent claimants in Universal Credit)
  • War Widow's or War Widower's Pension
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payments
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Working Tax Credit - this includes households who are working sufficient hours to qualify for WTC but whose earnings are so great that they are not entitled to it.
  • Guardian's Allowance

What is the 'grace period'?

There will be a 'grace period' of 39 weeks from the first day of unemployment during which the cap will not be applied, even though it normally would have been.

This will be allowed when:

  • you or your partner (or recent ex-partner) were in paid employment or self-employment for 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks immediately before you finished work, and
  • you or your partner (or recent ex-partner) did not claim one of the following for any period, no matter how short, in more than two of those weeks
    • Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income Support

You will also be treated as in employment if you are on any of the following:

  • maternity leave and in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • paternity leave
  • adoption leave
  • in receipt of statutory sick pay

What if I think I’m exempt?

If you are told that your benefit is going to be capped but you believe that this, or any other, exemption from the cap could apply to you then you MUST contact us immediately so we can check with the Department for Work and Pensions to see if you are correct.

Contact Information

Name of Team: Housing Benefits

Telephone : 01495 353398

Address: Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Email: benefits@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk