The government has introduced a benefit cap which limits the amount of benefit that most people aged between 16 - 64 can get. The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) adds up all the benefits you and your partner receive and, if they total over the cap amount, they tell the Council to reduce your Housing Benefit so that your income is reduced to the cap amount.
Outside Greater London borough (which includes the Telford & Wrekin borough) the cap amount is:
- £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you're in a couple, whether or not you have children
- £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you're single and your children live with you
- £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you're single and you don't have children, or your children don't live with you
The Benefit cap includes the following benefits:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the "support" component)
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent's Allowance (or Widowed Mother's Allowance or Widows Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
- Universal Credit (unless you have had a work capability assessment and are not fit for work)
If you. or a member of your household, i.e. a partner or a dependant child, gets any of these benefits the benefits cap will not apply to you:
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Employment and Support Allowance if you get the support component
- Guardian's Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefit (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Universal Credit if you get payments towards carer's costs or for "limited capability for work and work-related activity"
- War Pensions
- War Widow's or War Widower's Pension
- Working Tax Credits
The cap does not apply for 39 weeks from the date you claim benefit if you or your partner had been working continuously for the previous 12 months and lost a job through no fault of your, or their, own.
More information on the Benefit Cap, including the contact details for the Department for Works and Pensions, can be found at www.gov.uk/benefitcap.
It is important that you pay your rent. You should speak with your landlord if you are not sure how much rent to pay. If you are experiencing financial difficulties the Council may be able to give some short term help. Details of our Discretionary Housing Payment scheme can be found at www.telford.gov.uk/dhp.
If you receive Working Tax credit you will not be affected by the Benefit Cap. For help finding work please contact your local Jobcentre. The Council also offers a range of support if you are looking for work, details of this support can be found at www.telfordjobbox.co.uk.