There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get. This is called the benefit cap.

Read more about the benefit cap on the GOV.UK website.

If you're affected by the cap, your Housing Benefit goes down to make sure the total amount of benefit you get isn't more than the cap level.

How much is the benefit cap?

  • £423.46 a week (£22,020 a year) for couples
  • £423.46 a week (£22,020 a year) for single parents whose children live with them
  • £283.71 a week (£14,753 a year) for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them.

Who isn't affected? 

You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner:

  • are over State Pension age
  • get Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0)
  • get Universal Credit and you and your partner earn more than £743 a month combined, after tax and National Insurance
  • get Universal Credit because of a disability or condition that stops you from working (this is called ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’)
  • get Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability

You’re also not affected by the benefit cap if you, your partner or any dependent children living with you get any of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Compensation scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if you get the support component
  • War Pension
  • War Widow's or War Widower's Pension
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance

If you are affected, the benefit cap might not affect your payments for up to 9 months. This is called the ‘grace period’. Read more about the benefit cap grace period on GOV.UK.


A family has a weekly income from benefits of £453.46, including £100 Housing Benefit. This means their income is £30 above the cap amount, which is £423.46 for them. Their Housing Benefit reduces by £30 (from £100 to £70) to bring their total income down to the £423.46 limit. They have £30 more rent to pay and will need to use £30 from their other benefits for this.

Read more about the benefit cap on the GOV.UK website.

Last updated: Fri 5 April, 2024 @ 15:13