Benefit cap rules explained – full list of state support payments which won’t be limited

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The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of money a claimant could receive from state benefits. It applies to most people aged between 16 and state pension age.

The benefit cap affects a range of state benefits and the limitations are based on where a claimant lives along with their relationship status.

For coupled claimants or those who have children and live outside London, the benefit cap will be set at £384.62 per week.

Those in the same situations but living in London will be capped at £442.31.

Single claimants living outside the capital will be limited to £257.69 a week.

Single claimants within London will face a benefit cap of £296.35.

While the benfit cap can affect most benefits, there are a number of situations in which a claimant will not be limited at all.

Generally, a person will not be affected by the cap if they’re over the state pension age.

Currently, the state pension age for most people is 66 but it will be rising to 68 over the coming years.

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Additionally, a person will not be affected by the cap if they or their partner:

  • Get Working Tax Credit (even if the amount they get is £0)
  • Get Universal Credit because of a disability or health condition that stops them from working (this is called “limited capability for work and work-related activity”)
  • Get Universal Credit because they care for someone with a disability
  • Get Universal Credit and they and their partner earn £617 or more a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions

The benefit cap will also not apply if a claimant, their partner or any children under 18 living with them gets:

  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • War pensions
  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

Where claimants have had their payments limited by the benefit cap but don’t think it should have applied, they may be able to challenge the decision.

Requests can be made to the DWP to review a benefit decision under mandatory reconsideration rules.

These requests must be made within one month of the date of the decision.

Should claimants still be unhappy with a Government decision following a mandatory reconsideration, they may be able to launch an appeal.

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