Changes to housing benefit – benefit cap
Since 2013, 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
- Carer's allowance
If the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed, your housing benefit payments will be reduced.
The maximum amount of benefit you will be able to receive will be:
- £500 per week for single parents
- £500 per week for couples with or without children
- £350 per week for single people without children
Your housing benefit won't be affected by if you or your partner has reached the qualifying age for pension credit. In April 2013 this was around 61 years and six months. Find out your pension credit age.
L&Q wants to speak to every resident affected by this change. If you are affected and have not yet spoken to us, or you are not sure whether you are affected, please contact us.
This will not apply to you if:
- You get working tax credit
- You, or a member of your household is claiming disability living allowance, attendance allowance, the support element of employment support allowance or personal independence payment
If you are affected by the benefit cap, it is important that you continue to pay your rent in full, making up any shortfall in your housing benefit. 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 gov.uk
- 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