From April 2013 a limit will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a benefit cap. At first this will only affect people in 4 council areas: Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. All other areas will introduce the cap by the end of September 2013.
If you’re affected, your Housing Benefit will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level. If you’re already getting benefits and could be affected by the cap, you’ll be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They’ll let you know what will happen to your benefits.
The level of the cap will be:
£500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them).
£500 a week for single parents whose children live with them.
£350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.
The cap will apply to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:
Child Tax Credit
Employment & Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)
Severe Disablement Allowance
Widowed Parents Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)
You won’t be affected by the benefit cap if you qualify for Working Tax Credit or if you get any of the following benefits:
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment (from April 2013)
Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) if you get the support component
War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension