Benefit Cap Frequently Asked Questions

I am not sure if I will be affected. How can I check?

Please go to the benefit cap calculator to see if you are affected.


I have been affected by the cap and am struggling to pay my rent. What can I do?

You or your partner should increase your working hours to the level that qualifies for Working Tax. For more information please see our Working Tax Credit page.

If you or your partner or children are disabled, you should make enquiries to see if you might be entitled to one of the benefits that exempts you from the cap.

If you or your partner are in receipt of ESA but not in the support group and your illness/disability has worsened since you made the claim, you should speak to your DWP advisor about being moved to the support group. Similarly if you or your partner are in receipt of Universal Credit and have been deemed to have limited capacity for work, you should check to see if you could qualify for limited capacity for work related activity.

If you or your partner care for someone for 35 hours per week or more and that person is in receipt of a relevant benefit, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance.


My grown up son/daughter lives with me and they get benefits in their own right. Are these added to my benefits when working out the Cap?

No, they are regarded as a separate ‘household’ for benefit purposes. The only benefits added together are those of the claimant and their partner and those paid for any children/young people they get Child Benefit for.


I have been capped and now have a Housing Benefit Shortfall. Can I ask the DWP to stop one of my benefits so I get this paid in full?

This can have an effect on your other benefits now and in the future. You may lose entitlement to ‘passported’ benefits such as free school meals or prescriptions. It can also have an effect on your national insurance contributions and therefore the amount of state pension that you are awarded in future.

If you require further information, please either email the Welfare Team or telephone 0300 304 5000.