Benefit Cap comes into Force in parts of the UK
Imposing a nationwide cap on benefits is intended to encourage people into work the government claims as the plan is rolled out in some parts of London.
This “cap” is a limit that will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can receive. Council across the UK will be introducing this between 15 April and 30 September 2013.
When it is introduced across the country it is expected to affect almost 60,000 households and over 250,000 people with an average reduction of over £60 a week per claimant.
The cap will be applied across the following benefits you currently receive: Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance and Guardian’s Allowance. However it will not affect one-off payments, free school meals, Council Tax Benefit or the childcare element of Universal Credit when it comes in.
How Much is the Benefit Cap?
The maximum you can receive from all these benefits will be limited to £500 a week for couple regardless whether they have children or not and the same amount for a single person with children. If you are single without children living with you the cap is £350. Where this causes hardship the government has set aside over £110 million in DHP’s to 2015.
Many suspect that the cap will raise child poverty, increase homelessness and cost more than it saves although it is intended to reflect the average working household income in the UK.
However, you won’t be affected by this benefits limit if you or anyone in the household is receiving working tax credits or claiming any of : Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefits, Employment and Support Allowance or War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension.