Wednesday 24 July 2019

Benefit Cap

What is it?

The benefit cap is designed to ensure that those in workless households do not receive more in benefits than the average working household earns. Some benefits are excluded. Thus couples with or without children will not be entitled to more than £500 in benefits per week. Similarly single parents whose children live with them will not be entitled to more than £500 a week. A single person would receive no more than £350 per week in benefits.

Each council is provided with a list by central government of all households that will be affected by the cap. To ensure that affected households are under the cap councils will withhold housing benefit.

The Impact

Impact on Citizens

Impact on Councils

  • Figures from DWP[1] indicate that the cumulative count (April 2013 – November 2013) of households affected by the cap in the east Midlands was 1,278 (3.9% of the total for England).


  • The highest levels are in Leicester (the most populous local authority area), followed by Nottingham and Derby.



  • Councils will have to work closely with households identified as likely to be capped, aiming at getting as many as possible back to work in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.


  • As yet there is no clear evidence of councils in London sourcing affordable accommodation in the East Midlands to meet the needs of tenants affected by the cap – although the situation will continue to be monitored closely.

[1] Published 9th January 2014