Benefits Cap

The benefits cap is a limit placed on the number of benefits that can be claimed by people aged 16 to64 years.


Benefits that will be included:


Benefits that will be taken into consideration are:

  • Housing Benefit

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Employment Support Allowance except where the support component has not been awarded

  • Child Benefit

  • Child Tax Credits

  • Carer’s Allowance

  • Incapacity Benefit

  • Maternity Allowance

  • Severe Disablement Allowance

  • Widowed Parents Allowance

  • Widows Benefit

  • Guardians Allowance

  • Bereavement Allowance

  • Universal Credit


Benefits that are exempt:


If you receive the following benefits, you will be exempt from the benefits cap:

  • Pension Credits

  • Working Tax Credits

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Attendance Allowance

  • The support element of Employment Support Allowance

  • Industrial Injuries Benefit

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • War Disablement Pension / Armed Forces Compensation scheme payments

  • War widows / Widower Pension


You may also be exempt from the benefits cap if you receive Universal Credit and meet other criteria such as you are disabled and are unable to work or you care for a disabled adult or child.


If an individual was employed for 52 weeks or more prior to their claim, they will be exempt for a period of 39 weeks.


Other benefits such as bereavement payments, cold weather payments, council tax benefits, social fund payments, statutory maternity, paternity and sick pay will not be included in the benefits cap.


How are benefits to be capped?


For current figures and rates please see here.


Benefits cap calculator


There is now an online benefits cap calculator where you can test how the benefits cap might affect you.


You should receive a letter regarding possible changes to your benefit payments. Please speak to your local JobCentre Plus or contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if there is anything you’re not clear about or you cannot meet your household expenses.


For further information please go to the DWP website.


Further information


For more information, please contact the MPS Advocacy Team by email at advocacy@mpssociety.org.uk

or by phone on 0345 389 9901.