Benefit cap

The benefit cap was introduced by the government as a limit for how much benefit people aged between 16 and 64 could receive.

The aim of the cap is to prevent people from getting more income from benefit payments than the average wage (after tax and national insurance).

What are the limits?

The current maximum amounts of benefit you can receive in Herefordshire before being capped are as follows:

  • £257.69 per week for single adults with no children
  • £384.62 per week for couples (with or without dependent children) and single parents

How is the benefit cap calculated?

All the benefits and credits your household receives are added together. This includes anything paid to you, your partner and any children (or qualifying young people) you claim for. It doesn't include anything received by non-dependants living in your home.

How is the benefit cap administered?

If your total household income is higher than the level of the cap, the amount of benefit you receive is reduced.

The reduction is taken from Housing Benefit in the first instance. Further reductions will be made from other benefits until your total income no longer exceeds the level of the cap.

If your Housing Benefit is capped, we will send you notification of this.

Exemptions from the benefit cap

Households are exempt from the benefit cap if they are receiving any of the following benefits:

  • War widows or war widowers pension
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • The support component of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Industrial injuries benefit
  • Armed forces compensation scheme
  • Armed forces independence payment

There must be at least one person in the household receiving any of the above benefits, this does not include non-dependants.

If you have been in employment for the previous 12 months, and/or lost your job through no fault of your own, there is a 39-week grace period before the benefit cap is applied.

There is more information about the benefit cap on the government's website.