What is the Benefit Cap?

The government introduced a Benefit Cap in April 2013, which was rolled out nationally in July 2013. The overall amount of benefit you can claim is now “capped” which means that a limit is now put on the total amount of benefit most people age 16 – 64 can get. The government says the scheme will mean people are better off in work than on benefits.

What are the new rules?

The Government now adds up how much money you get from benefits, including housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, employment support allowance, child benefit, child tax credit and carer’s allowance.

If the total adds up to more than the maximum, any extra will not be paid.

If you get Housing Benefit, it is important to include this in your calculations. It can be easy to forget about Housing Benefit if it is paid direct to bpha but the amount will still be included in the benefit calculations.

The cap

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not;
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you; or
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you.

The rules WON’T apply if you receive:

  • Pension credit.
  • Working tax credit.
  • Someone living in your home claims disability living allowance, attendance allowance or the support element of employment support allowance.

Am I affected?

The easiest way you can find out if you’re likely to lose money is to use a benefit calculator or contact your Jobcentre Plus.

If you’re not sure how much rent you pay, you can check by looking at your rent statement or by contacting us.

Under 35 and single?

For those single people under 35 years old who have become tenants since April 2016, new rules have been proposed that they will only be eligible for reduced housing payments from 2018. This will mean that they have to make up the shortfall in their rent in order to sustain their tenancies. In order to address this challenge, bpha is reviewing the type of tenancy we will be offering to these residents to ensure we can put in place enough support for the customer but also protection for us if they are unable to make payments. We will be contacting all residents who are effected to ensure that support plans are put in place with them.

Local Housing Allowance rates can be found here.

Act now…don’t wait

Find out if you are affected and then get in touch.

Need help? Our Money Advisors can offer advice about how you could manage your money in the future and make your income and benefits go further. Don’t wait…call us now on 0330 100 0272, or email us.