What is the benefit cap?

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of income from certain benefits a household can receive.

It is set at a different level depending on if you live inside, or outside London.

Benefit cap amount (outside of Greater London)


Household  Cap per week Cap per month

If you’re in a couple

£423.46 £1,835
If you’re a single parent and your children live with you £423.46 £1,835

If you’re a single adult

£283.71 £1,229.42


Benefits included in the cap
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the support group)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance & Bereavement Allowance (previously Widowed Mother's Allowance and Widow's Pension)
  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax Support, the replacement for Council Tax Benefit, is not included in the cap.
  • One-off payments like the social fund are also not included.
How is the Benefit Cap applied?

If you receive more than the benefit cap allows, then your local council reduce your Housing Benefit or the DWP reduce your Universal Credit until you are brought back within the cap.

Your local council may be able to provide some assistance through a Discretionary Housing Payment if you struggle to meet your housing costs because of the benefit cap.


There are certain circumstances where you could be exempt from the cap i.e. receiving disability benefits, current or recent work, pension age etc

Find out if you're exempt

Discretionary Housing Payments

Your local authority will decide whether to award a Discretionary Housing Payment, how much to award, and for how long.

The amount you get could cover all, or part of your shortfall in rent.