Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
How UC is Calculated - Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of 'welfare'/social security a household can receive.

Certain claimants are excluded from the Cap:

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is working and their earned income (or joint earned income) in the Monthly Assessment Period is at or above a set limit - currently £658 a month (the monthly equivalent of 16hrs a week x the national living wage). 

  • Whose Monthly Assessment Period falls within a 'grace period' - applicable to some people who have finished work / hours reduced.

  • That include a member i.e. claimant, partner or dependent child/young person who is receiving:
    • Disability Living Allowance/Child Disability Payment, 
    • Personal Independence Payment/Adult Disability Payment, 
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment,
    • Attendance Allowance,
    • Constant Attendance Allowance 
This exception continues to apply where the person / child entitled to DLA/CDP / PIP/ADP has had the payment stopped because they are in hospital or a care home;

And please note - this does not include non-dependants getting one of these benefits.

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is receiving the Support Component of Employment and Support Allowance;

  • Where the Universal Credit award includes a Limited Capability for Work Related Activities ie LCWRA Element.

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is receiving Industrial Injuries Benefits (including industrial injuries disablement benefit, reduced earnings allowance, industrial death benefit and equivalent payments made as part of a war pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme);

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is receiving of War Widows / War Widowers Pension paid under the relevant parts of the War Pension Scheme, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or analogous schemes.

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is entitled to Carer's Allowance or the Carer Element in their Universal Credit award.

  • Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is receiving Guardian's Allowance (not to be confused with Special Guardianship Allowance)

The following benefits count as welfare
 for the purposes of the Cap:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Contribution based Employment and Support Allowance (not support group)
  • Contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Widowed Mother's Allowance
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Widow's Pension

And the following do not:

  • Child Care Element of Universal Credit
  • State Retirement Pension
  • Council Tax Support
  • Statutory Sick / Maternity / Paternity / Adoption Pay
  • Bereavement Support Allowance (not to be confused with Bereavement Allowance)
  • Bereavement Payment
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • S
    ocial fund payments (and those payments replaced by the localised provision from April 2013)
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance

What is the Benefit Cap limit?

For those affected their Benefit Cap limit will be:


Greater London**

Greater London**

Couples, lone parents and families                               £1666.67


Single people*                                                                   £1116.67


* This includes claimants who are part of a couple but are making a claim for Universal Credit as a single claimant (click here) if they are not responsible for any child or young person.

** Greater London = Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster.