Benefit Cap

How will the Benefit Cap be calculated?

During 2016/17 the Government will phase in a new benefit cap which will mean that the total amount of benefit a household can receive will be restricted to £20,000 per year. This works out at a maximum of £384 per week for families and £257 per week for single people. Any excess benefit will be deducted from your housing benefit or the housing element of your universal credit.

I am in work but claim Working Tax Credit will this affect me?

Households in receipt of Working Tax Credit (WTC) will be exempt from the benefit cap. WTC is available to lone parents and those with a disability who are working for at least 16 hours a week and couples with children who work at least 24 hours a week between them.Eligibility for WTC for those without children or a disability is dependent on age; this group must be 25 or older and work at least 30 hours a week to qualify.

What can I do if it affects me?

Those who are affected by the benefit cap will face limited options which include reducing their non-rent expenditure, making up any shortfall in Housing Benefit using a proportion of their other income, moving to cheaper accommodation or a cheaper area or entering employment or increasing their hours of employment. You could apply to Salford City Council’s housing benefit department and request a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). This is a pot of money to provide short term relief for those affected by the benefit cap.