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Benefits Cap And Housing Benefit Advice

Are You Getting The Right Entitlements
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A benefits cap is a limit on the total amount of benefits any single person or couple aged 16 to 64 can claim. This means, the level of a particular benefit may go down if you claim more than one benefit.

Which benefits can be included in the capped amount?

Benefits affected by the cap include:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit

If you claim any of these and your total amount is over the upper limit, you’ll find the money you get is capped.

How much is the limit?

The amount that benefits are capped at depends largely on your circumstances. At the moment, the limit stands at £500 per week for couples, as well as single parents with children living with them. For single adults, without dependent children, the cap is set at £350.

How will my benefits be capped?

The cap is usually applied to housing benefit. This means that if you receive more than the upper limit in benefits your housing benefit will be cut, this will bring you in line with the cap.

Exemptions

Benefits Cap And Housing Benefit AdviceSome people are exempt from the benefits cap. If you qualify for exemptions then your benefits won’t be limited in the same way. You may be exempt if you or your partner work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit, you receive a war pension, you get certain disability/sickness benefits or if you are old enough to claim Pension Credit. If you can claim Pension Credit but your partner is too young, you may still have your benefits capped. If you’ve been employed for over 50 of the 52 weeks leading up to your claim, you will be able to take advantage of a 39 week period, without any cap on your benefits.

Benefits not affected

In some cases, if you claim certain benefits then a cap won’t be placed on the amount you can claim. These include Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance. If you, your partner or one of your dependents are entitled to any of these benefits then you shouldn’t see your amount limited.

Is there anything I can do if my Housing Benefit is capped?

If your benefits are capped and you’re having trouble paying your rent, there are some things you might want to consider doing to get out of the situation. Firstly, check if anyone in your household is eligible to claim one of the benefits that exempt you from the cap. If that isn’t an option, you could apply to your local council for homelessness assistance. You don’t have to be out on the streets to apply – the local authority should help you move, or find somewhere cheaper to live, if it’s no longer reasonable for you to stay there, for example because you can’t afford the rent.

If you know your circumstances will be changing in the near future, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. This can help pay your rent in the short term or be put towards a deposit on another home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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