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Changes to housing benefit – Benefit cap

The overall amount of benefit you can receive has been capped for working age households.

The government will add up how much money you get from a range of benefits including:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

Some benefits including Carer's Allowance and Guardian's Allowance are not included. If you or anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit, you will not be affected by the cap. Your housing Benefit or Universal Credit wont be affected if you or your partner has reached the qualifying age for pension credit. Find out your State Pension age on

If the total comes to more than the maximum allowed, your housing benefit payments or universal credit payments will reduce.

Cap amounts in London

If you live in London, the maximum amount of benefit you will be able to receive will be:

  • £442.31 per week for couples or households with children
  • £296.35 for single people

Cap amounts outside of London

If you live outside a greater London borough, the cap is:

  • £384.62 for couples or households with children
  • £257.35 for single people

If you are affected by the benefit cap, it is important that you continue to pay your rent in full, making up any shortfall. If you don't pay your rent you could lose your home.

There are a number of things you can do to avoid the benefit cap, or to make sure you have enough money to make up the shortfall. These include:

  • Finding work to become eligible for working tax credits. Depending on your circumstances, this will mean working a certain number of hours per week. You can find detailed information on
  • Reducing your household expenditure
  • Managing your money and debt
  • Moving to a less expensive property
  • Seeking contributions from other members of your household
  • Applying for discretionary housing payment

Find out more about how we can help you.