Benefit Cap

Benefit Cap

A cap on the total amount of welfare benefits that can be claimed by people of working age was introduced from 12 August 2013.

The limits are:

  • £500 per week for families with children
  • £350 per week forindividuals.

The idea behind the cap is that “workless households” will no longer receive more in benefits than average working families receive after tax and NI.

Benefits that are included when calculating whether someone exceeds the cap include – Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance (except where the support component is in payment), Housing Benefit, child benefit, child tax credit, Universal Credit (from October 2013) and benefits such as carers allowance and maternity allowance. There may well be others.

The cap will not apply if yourself, your partner or any dependant children (not non-dependants) in the household becomes entitled to Working Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefits, Employment and Support Allowance that includes the support component, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments, Armed Forces Independence Payment, or a War Pension.

The Benefit cap is applied by reducing your Housing Benefit.

An online calculator is now available to use at

You can use this to get an estimate of how much your Housing Benefit could be reduced by.

To answer the questions in the calculator you will need to know the weekly amount of award for each benefit or allowance you or someone in your household receives. This can be found on the award letter(s). If you do not have the award letter(s) you can call the benefit cap helpline. The helpline number is 0845 6057064 or textphone 0845 6088551 for people with hearing or speech impairments. The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

You can get more information about this at   

Contact us

Benefit Cap Team
Walsall Council
Civic Centre
Darwall Street
West Midlands

Telephone 01922 654550

This page was last updated on 09 November 2016