Benefit cap

The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount in benefits that most working age people can get.

Changes to the benefit cap

The government has lowered the limit on the total amount of benefit that most working age people can get.

Use our benefits calculator to find out how the benefit cap may affect you.

Weekly benefit cap

  • £384.62 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £384.62 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £257.69 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.

This may mean the amount you get for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn’t more than the cap level.

Who will be affected

The cap applies to the benefits you get as a household. This means that benefits received by you, your partner and dependent children who live with you, are affected.

The cap applies to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:

Who won’t be affected

You’re not affected by the benefit cap if you receive

  • Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0) or 
  • Universal Credit, but only if you and your partner earn more than £520 a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions

You’re not affected by the benefit cap if you or another person in your household gets any of the following benefits:

If you think you may be able to get one of these benefits, you can find out more by using our benefits calculator.

If you've been employed continuously for 12 months, and you lose your job through no fault of your own, the benefit cap won't apply to you for 39 weeks after you lose your job.

If you meet the qualifying conditions for Working Tax Credits, but do not receive payments because of your income, you should still be exempt from the benefit cap

The cap doesn't apply if you're above the qualifying age for Pension Credit.

Where to get support

If you're worried or confused about the impact that the benefit cap might have on your household there are things you can do that might help.

Get help getting a job

Finding work could mean that the cap won’t apply.

If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus work coach, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job.

Find local opportunities, training courses and support groups on the Ways 2 Work website.

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit but need extra help with rent or moving costs then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

Get some advice

Local advice centres

If you’re a housing association tenant your landlord may also be able to help.

Find more advice centres on the ACFA website or visit the citizen service point.

Get help with money and debt problems

Find out about budgeting, how to deal with debt problems and getting money in an emergency on our help with money and debt problems page.

Contact information

Housing Benefits

100TS

Bristol City Council

PO Box 3176

Bristol, BS3 9FS

Opening Hours

Contact us online

You can contact us using our online form.

Contact us by phone

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm

Except Wednesday when we're closed for training between 12noon and 1.30pm

Tel: 0117 922 2300