There have been some important changes to the maximum amount you can claim as a household for out-of-work benefits.

What is the Benefit Cap?

The Household Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can earn if you’re of working age.

If your income from benefits is more than the Benefit Cap, your benefits will have been cut.

Any extra income you would have received over the limit will have been taken off your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If your rent was covered by Housing Benefit and you are affected by the Benefit Cap, you will need to find the extra money to cover your rent.

What has changed?

The maximum amount of benefits you can claim is £384.62 per week as a household (this includes couples, with or without children).

If you are single and have no children living with you, the maximum amount of benefits you can receive is £257.69 per week.

If you were receiving more than this and have been affected by the Benefit Cap, the extra money will be taken from your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

When did the changes come in? Does it apply to me?

The Government introduced these changes in November 2016. If you have been affected by the changes, you will have received a letter from your local authority.

The Benefit Cap applies to the combined income from out-of-work benefits such as Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit. 

If you do NOT receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, your benefits will NOT be capped.

Some people are not affected by the Household Benefit Cap for specific reasons. For advice on whether you are affected, please click here.

If the cap affects you, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will have been reduced. If you previously had your full rent paid by Housing Benefit, you will need to find the extra rent payment.

For more information, please see the Government's advice on the Benefit Cap. You can also use the Government's Benefit Cap Calculator to check how much your benefits were capped.

How do I get help and advice?

If you received a letter stating that you will be affected by the changes to the Benefit Cap or are concerned that you might be affected, it is important that you contact Hightown on 01442 292300 or Income.Recovery@hightownha.org.uk.

Hightown is working closely with local authorities regarding our residents affected by the Benefit Cap and will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

You can also use our online service, MyHightown, to check your rent account and find the details for your Income Recovery Officer. Click here to sign up.