The benefit cap
The benefit cap is a feature of the Welfare Reform Bill that received Royal Assent on the 8 March 2012.
The benefit cap means that workless households should no longer receive more in benefits than the average earnings of working households.
In the first instance the cap will be administered jointly by DWP and local authorities through deductions from Housing Benefit payments. In the longer term it will form part of the new Universal Credit system.
The benefit cap was implemented from April 2013 in four local authorities in London, with the remaining local authorities implementing the cap from the 15 July 2013. All appropriate households will be capped by the end September 2013.
The benefit cap and local authority engagement
DWP has been liaising with the regular local authority forums which focus on Housing Benefit, namely the Local Authority Association Steering Group, and the Practitioners’ Operational Group.
To ensure we are aware of the full impacts for local authorities, the Department is widening its discussions to include those responsible for issues such as homelessness and social care.
An online calculator is available for claimants to get an estimate of how their Housing Benefit might be affected.