There is a nationally applied maximum – a “Cap” – on the total amount of certain social security benefits a single person or family below pensionable age can receive, subject to certain exemptions (see below).
The main benefits within the “Cap” include: Universal Credit; Child Benefit; Housing Benefit; Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (unless you are in the Support Group); Income Support; Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA); Maternity Allowance; Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA); Incapacity Benefit (IB).
The Cap works by reducing Housing Benefit until the total amount of relevant state benefits received is below the following:
• The maximum amount of benefits a family or a couple under state-pension age may receive is £384.62 per week or £20,000 per year (outside London)
• The maximum amount of benefits a single person under state-pension age may receive is £257.69 per week or £13,400 per year ( outside London)
There are exemptions if someone in the household receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), ESA (Support Group), Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit (LCWRA only) or some other benefits.