The Benefit Cap

Last updated: 28/03/2024

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefits you can be paid each year. This cap is set by the UK government. If the benefits you get add up to more than the Benefit Cap you will not be paid the full amount. In Scotland the Scottish Government have a mitigation policy which is there to remove the impact of the cap.

How will the amount over the Benefit Cap be deducted?

All the benefits you are getting, that affect the cap, will be added together and any amount over the benefit cap will be deducted from your Universal Credit.

How much is the Benefit Cap?

The Benefit Cap is £22,020 per annum (£423.46 per week) for a couple or single parent household and £14,753 per annum (£283.71) for single people.

Benefits included in the cap are:-

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support

Where can I find out if I qualify for help?

You can get in touch with us on our channels and we can give advice and information and explain how to apply for support, one of our advisers can be contacted here.

What can I do if I am affected by the UK Government DWP Benefit Cap?

Starting from 1 January 2023, the Scottish Government has committed to fully fund the mitigation of the benefit cap, as far as is possible within devolved powers. The funds allocated to local authorities for benefit cap mitigation are based on the maximum cost of the cap to claimants in Scotland. Everyone affected by the benefit cap can apply to their local authority for a Discretionary Housing Payment to replace as far as possible the cash support removed by the cap.

Scotland-specific statutory guidance will be issued on 27th March to local authorities setting out how the DHP scheme should be administered in Scotland.  The Scottish DHP scheme will allow local authorities to mitigate the benefit cap and provide better support for low income families more fully. The new scheme allows housing costs in addition to rent to be taken into account in benefit cap cases.

See more information.

People not affected by the Benefit Cap

You will not be affected by the Benefit Cap if:

  • You are over pension age
  • Your earnings from employment are above £722 per month. (If you lose your job, but have earned above £722 in the previous 12 months, the cap will not affect you for the next 9 months.)
  • You receive Carer’s Allowance, the carer’s element in Universal Credit or have an underlying entitlement to them,
  • You, or any children in your family under 18, get War Widow or Widowers’ Pension, Disability Living Allowance, Child Disability Payment, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefits, Guardian’s Allowance, the support component of Employment and Support Allowance or the limited capability for work- and work-related activity element of Universal Credit. You are also not affected if you are in the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or get the Armed Forces Independence Payment.

For more information visit Benefit Cap.