What is the benefit cap?
A limit to the total amount of benefits and housing benefit that couples, lone parents and single people receive based on an average income of a working household.
From July 2013 the actual amount of benefits paid is limited to
- £500 per week for Couples or Lone Parents
- £350 per week for a Single person
From autumn 2016 the actual amount of benefit paid is limited to
- £385 per week for Couples or Lone Parents
- £258 per week for a Single person
How to check if you are capped
Some households are excluded from the cap and not all benefits are counted.
A list of the benefits counted and the household exemptions can be found on www.gov.uk/benefit-cap page.
How will the cap be applied?
Deductions will be made from your housing benefit payments. You will be asked to make up any shortfall in rent yourself.
How to stop the cap affecting you
- Find work or increase your hours so that you qualify for Working Tax Credit.
- Consider moving to cheaper accommodation or, if you rent from a private landlord, negotiate your rent to a smaller amount.
If you think the cap shouldn’t affect you, or you have a question about the benefits that have been taken into account when deciding what cap applies to you, you should ring the Benefit Cap Helpline.
The benefit cap helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
- Telephone 0845 605 7064
- Textphone 0845 608 8551
If you think that the amount of any of the benefits or allowances (except HB) included in the benefit cap calculation is wrong, you should contact the office that pays you that benefit.
Further advice and support
- For help with moving into work, please see moving from benefits to work
- For help with managing your money, use the online budget planner at: Money Advice Service
- If you are a Birmingham City Council tenant, you can obtain more in depth help and advice from our dedicated Rent Service pages.
- If you are not a Birmingham City Council tenant, you should contact your landlord or agent directly.
- If you are a private tenant and you need advice about your tenancy please visit Tenant Advice
- Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a fund which allows the Council to give financial assistance to tenants already receiving Housing Benefit (but not exceeding your weekly eligible rent). For more information, please see at Discretionary Housing Payments
- Birmingham City Council operates the Local Welfare Provision (LWP), a discretionary fund to help vulnerable people in times of crisis. For further information and details of how to apply for help please visit Birmingham Local Welfare Provision.