What is the Benefit Cap?
The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit you can get. It applies to most people aged 16 or over who have not reached State Pension age.
How does it work?
The benefit cap affects:
- Universal Credit
- Bereavement Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension (if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
You might not be affected by the benefit cap if you get certain benefits or you’re over State Pension age or exempt.
Check how it will affect you
The Government has a calculator that gives an estimate of how much your benefit might be capped. To use the calculator you’ll need to know the amounts of each benefit you get, and the number of people in your household. Your household includes you, your partner and any children that you are responsible for and who live with you.
The amount of the cap
Your benefits may be capped at the following benefit cap amounts:
- £385 per week for couples with or without children, and for single people with children
- £258 per week for single people without children
If you are on Universal Credit, it is reduced down to the above cap amount. If you are on Housing Benefit, only your Housing Benefit is reduced and you have to be left with 50p Housing Benefit.
More information about the benefit cap
It may be worth reading the Newcastle City Council leaflet: Benefit cap – ways to help you improve your financial situation, which includes more details about the cap, the exemptions and many things that Newcastle residents can do to improve your financial situation.
Support in Newcastle for those affected by the cap
Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) are targeting support to households to help them to increase their income or reduce their expenditure, including advice on exemptions, benefit entitlement, budgeting, debt, employment and housing, as follows:
- YHN tenants can contact the YHN Benefit cap team by ‘phone on 0191 278 8754 or email email@example.com
- Non YHN tenants, such as private or housing association tenants, can contact Newcastle City Council’s Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit by phone on 277 1707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I get benefits advice?
You can get benefits advice from a local independent service. They can help guide you through the application process and explain how some benefits may impact upon another:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle give advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have self help material on their website.
- Disability North give disability related benefit advice, help with appeals and representation at tribunals
- Find more about other benefit advice services available across Newcastle.
Last updated: September 3, 2021