Press release

Benefit cap: 10,000 people find jobs or stop claiming Housing Benefit

Almost 10,000 people who had their benefits capped have now moved into work or stopped claiming Housing Benefit entirely.

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

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New official statistics show that in more than 7,370 households where the benefit cap has been applied someone has found a job, and a further 2,320 households have stopped their Housing Benefit claim altogether.

This means more than 500 people affected by the cap have moved into employment every month on average since the introduction of the policy last April – as people can no longer get more in benefits than the equivalent of an average household income of £34,000 before tax.

Capping benefits is a vital part of the government’s long-term economic plan to reward hardworking people and restore fairness to the welfare system.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said:

Today’s figures show that if we had not introduced the cap, more than 2,000 households would each have received over £10,000 a year more in benefits than the average taxpayer earns.

By capping benefits we are putting a stop to these runaway benefit claims and returning fairness to the system.

This government is fixing the broken welfare system we inherited, ensuring that it always pays more to be in work, and thereby encouraging thousands of people to move off benefits and into jobs.

Today’s figures also show:

  • in total, almost 46,000 households have had their benefits capped by May 2014, so that they no longer get more in benefits than the average family earns
  • almost 5,000 people reduced their benefit claim below the level of the cap – set at a maximum of £500 a week
  • more than 2,200 households have been capped by more than £200 a week

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 work by November 2013.

£110 million has been made available to local authorities over two years through the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund to support people who need extra help.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefits a household can receive to £26,000 a year or £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 May 2014’. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to May 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 two totals cannot be combined.

In May 2014, 27,000 households were still subject to benefit cap. In addition, 18,800 households have moved off the benefit cap since April 2013 and of these 39% have seen someone move into work.

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. Read more information about who will not be affected by the policy.

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Published 7 August 2014