Trafford Housing Trust

Benefit cap

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that many people aged 16 to 64 are able to receive. This is called the benefit cap. The current banefit cap amounts are:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not:
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you

Who will NOT be affected by the Benefit Cap:

If you are employed, you’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:

  • you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit. The number of hours that you need to work is determined by your personal circumstances 16 hours per week if a lone parent or meet criteria for disability element, 24 hours if part of a couple with children or 30 hours if you are aged 25 plus and not fall in the categories above.
  • you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your earnings are more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance


You will get a certain grace period from the cap if you've been employed for at least 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks leading up to your last day of work. If this is the case, you'll be exempt from the cap for up to 39 weeks from the day after your job ended.

If you are not employed, you`re not affected by the cap if you or your partner receive one of the following:

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you would also be exempt if your dependent child received this.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (but only if you get the support component)
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit payment for ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’
  • War pensions
  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

Payments towards carer’s costs in Universal Credit won’t be affected by the benefit cap from 7 November 2016.

If the benefits total more than the appropriate cap then the Housing Benefit award or Housing element of UC will be reduced.

If you are affected by the benefit cap, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment. Our customer support team can help you with this. If you would like to apply, please leave your details below and an adviser will get back to you

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