The Benefit Cap limits the total amount of money you can get from benefits. Your benefits will be reduced if your income is above the limit.

What is the Benefit Cap?

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit people of working age can receive. If your current income goes above this limit, your Universal Credit or Housing Benefit might be reduced.


How much is the Benefit Cap?

If you live in the North East and get more than the following amount in benefits per week you may be affected by the Benefit Cap.

Benefit Cap limit Who does this affect
£384.62 per week If you share your home as a couple or have children
£257.69 per week If you are single and don't have children living with you

Which benefits will be reduced?

If your income from benefits goes above the cap, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced until the amount you receive falls below the limit (£384.62 or £257.69 per week)

Will the Benefit Cap affect me?

You can find out if you're over the Benefit Cap by adding up all the benefits you receive using the DWP Benefit Cap calculator.

The cap applies to your whole household; that includes you, your partner and any children you're responsible for. You'll need to know the benefits everyone in your home gets to know whether you'll be affected. It doesn't include the benefit income of any non-dependant.

There are, however, a number of exemptions which mean you won't be affected by the cap, and won't have your income reduced.

You won't be affected by the Benefit Cap if you or your partner:

  • Claim Working Tax Credit (even if you don't receive it due to your income)
  • Earn more than £520 a month combined and receive Universal Credit
  • Are over Pension Credit Age
  • Are in the support group of Employment or Support Allowance or found to have limited capability for work-related activity in Universal Credit because of a health condition or disability that prevents you from working
  • Receive Carers Allowance or the care component of Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability

You also won't be affected by the Benefit Cap if anyone in your household receives any of the following benefits:

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement - Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • War pensions
  • War Widow's or War Widower's Pension 

What can I do?

Ask us for a benefit check. You or a member of your household may be entitled to a benefit that will exempt you from the cap.

  • Challenge the decision - If you think there has been a mistake when calculating your benefits, you should challenge the Benefit Cap decision. Call or email us on so we can help you appeal against your income being reduced.

  • Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment - If you're worried about paying your rent and covering your costs you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council to help in the short term. Click here to find your local council and make an application.

  • Draw up a budget - Now might be a good time to make a list of all your income and outgoings. Drawing up a budget will help you figure out whether you can still make ends meet if you're ever affected by the Benefit Cap. Learn more about managing your money.

  • Cut costs - It can be difficult to increase your household income when you regularly have more money going out than you have coming in. Visit our money management advice page for a few quick tips to cutting your costs.

  • Increase your income - If you can, consider taking on another job, or request to work more hours in your current job. Our benefits and money advisors can also help you with your job search - just contact us

We can help

If you are worried about finding the money to pay your rent, you should contact us. Our benefits and money team can advise you on whether any extra financial help might be available.
If your income has been reduced by the Benefit Cap, or you think it might be in the future and you'll need help managing your money, please contact one of our advisors who can help.