Further cuts to benefits should have been rolled out through a Benefit Cap from November 2016.
For families this will mean payments are reduced from £26,000 to £20,000 and from £20,000 to £13,400 for single households with no dependent children. The reduction in capping will affect your Housing Benefit amount and this could be reduced down to 50p weekly, this means you will need to pay the difference to your rent account.
If you are of pensionable age, the capping will NOT affect you.
Who could be affected?
If you are of pensionable age, the capping will NOT affect you. The Benefit Cap can ONLY affect tenants aged between 16 to 64 who claim any of the benefits listed below:
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the support group)
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent's Allowance & Bereavement Allowance
- Universal Credit (unless you have had a work
- capability assessment and are not fit for work)
Who could be exempt?
The cap will not apply if you, your partner or any children you are responsible for, qualify for Working Tax Credit or have been awarded any of the following:
- Carers Allowance
- Guardian Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- The support component of Employment and Support Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
- War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
- Limited capability for work related activity element of Universal Credit
Did you know?
If you have been in employment for 52 weeks or more when you claim benefit you will be exempt from the cap for up to 39 weeks.
How will I find out if I'm affected?
The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) have written to the people who will be affected by these changes telling them about the amount of Housing Benefit they will lose. Please visit: www.gov.uk/benefit-cap-calculator to calculate how the cap will affect you.
If I'm going to get my benefits capped what will this mean to me?
If your amount of benefit over the cap is less than the amount of Housing Benefit you get, it will be deducted from your Housing Benefit so that you will receive less Housing Benefit.
For example: Your family receives a total of £400 a week in benefits, of which £150 is Housing Benefit. Your cap is £384.62, so you are £15.38 over which will be deducted from your Housing Benefit. You will receive only £134.62 Housing Benefit as part of your overall income of £384.62 (£150 Housing Benefit, less £15.38 ‘excess’ = £134.62 Housing Benefit).
If your amount of benefit over the cap is more than the amount of Housing Benefit you get, your Housing Benefit will be reduced to a set nominal sum of 50p a week.
For example: Your family receives a total of £600 a week in benefits, of which £150 is Housing Benefit. Your cap is £384.62, so you are £215.38 over which should be deducted from your Housing Benefit. But, as you only get £150 Housing Benefit, your Housing Benefit would be reduced by £149.50 to the set nominal amount of 50p.
You must pay the amount of rent that is not covered by Housing Benefit direct to Dover District Council. Remember: You can risk losing your home by not paying your rent.
What help is available?