Benefit Cap

The next phase of the Government’s Welfare Reforms includes an 
extension to the national cap on the amount of benefits a single person or family can receive.

This is known as the Benefit Cap. 

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This is expected to affect people who live, and claim benefits, in Cornwall
from autumn 2016.

The benefit cap is:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a family or couple
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a single person with children living with them
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) for a single person.

We have written to all households that will be affected by the Benefit Cap to let them know what it means for them.

We can help

If you think you may be affected by the Benefit Cap, please contact us as soon as possible, as we can help you with:

  • extra money
  • money advice
  • getting in to work

You can phone: 0300 1234 121 (option 5)

or text BFIT followed by your mobile number to 60030

or email: benefits@cornwall.gov.uk

If you are of working age, between 16 and 64, and already getting more than £384.62 as a family, or £257.69 as a single person, a week in benefit - your Housing Benefit will be reduced to keep your benefits below the Cap limit.

This will not apply if you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit.

You may want to consider moving to cheaper housing if your new benefit payments are not enough to cover your housing costs.

The cap applies to the total amount of people in a household, including partners and any children,who get certain benefits including:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support’ component)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Universal Credit (unless you aren’t deemed fit for work)

The cap won’t apply to you - if you, your partner or any children you are responsible for - are in receipt of any of the following:

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance*
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (support component)
  • Guardian’s Allowance*
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

*Carer’s Allowance and Guardian’s Allowance currently count towards the cap, however legislation will be amended so they no longer count once the new benefit cap is introduced.

This information is also available as a PDF leaflet to download and print.

Download our Benefit Cap bite size guide