Press release

Benefit cap: 100 people find jobs every week

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

More than 100 people affected by the benefit cap have moved into work every week on average since the introduction of the policy last April.

New official statistics – which cover the first year of the policy – show that in almost 6,000 households previously subjected to the benefit cap someone has found employment.

Recent research by Ipsos MORI revealed that nearly half (45%) of those affected by the benefit cap planned to look for work as a result of the policy, providing further evidence that the benefit cap is encouraging people to find jobs.

Today’s figures also show:

  • in total, more than 42,000 households had their benefits capped by March 2014, ensuring they no longer receive more in benefits than the average family earns
  • 7,000 households that were previously subject to the benefit cap had a reduced benefit claim to below the weekly limit of the cap
  • more than 1,000 households have been capped by more than £200 a week

Capping benefits is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to return fairness to the welfare system and deliver for hardworking people.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

The benefit cap is encouraging thousands of people who have been stuck on benefits to move into work.

Recent research suggests that people who have had their benefits capped are likely to view getting a job as a long-term solution to reduced benefit payments, and already we are seeing this with today’s figures.

This government has fixed a system which allowed over 40,000 households to get more from the state than the ordinary hardworking family earned.

Jobcentre Plus has been working with people potentially affected by the policy since April 2012, and earlier figures show that around 19,000 potentially capped and some capped claimants had been helped into employment by November 2013.

We have made £110 million available to local authorities over 2 years through the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund to support people who need extra help in making the transition to the new system.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefits a household can receive to £500 a week for couples, with or without children, and lone parent households, and £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

More information

Read the set of statistics entitled ‘Benefit Cap: GB households capped to March 2014’. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to March 2014. New methodology draws on Working Tax Credits to determine the number of people who are no longer capped that have moved into work.

Earlier Management Information showed that by November 2013, around 19,000 potentially capped and some capped claimants had been helped into work by Jobcentre Plus. This figure included some individuals who were in capped households.

As the new outcomes measure is based on capped households and the Management Information relates to a cumulative count of potentially capped individuals and there is some overlap between them, the 2 totals cannot be combined. Future publications will include the new outcome measures, rather than the Management Information.

In March 2014, 27,720 households were still subject to benefit cap. In addition, 16,600 households had moved off the benefit cap since April and of these 35% had seen someone move into work:

  • 41% had actively reduced their benefit claim to below the level of the cap
  • 7% become exempt due to a disability or sickness benefit entitlement
  • 1% had a change in recorded local authority
  • 1% had a change in original household structure and 15% became exempt for other reasons

The benefit cap applies to combined income from the main out-of-work benefits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and other benefits such as Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit and Carer’s Allowance.

In recognition of their additional needs, some households are exempt from the cap, including households which include somebody who is receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. See more information about who will not be affected by the policy.

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