Press release

Benefit cap: 36,000 accept work help

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

New figures show almost 36,000 people potentially affected by the benefit cap have accepted support to get into work.

Almost 36,000 people potentially affected by the benefit cap have accepted support to get into work.

New figures show that since claimants were first notified of the cap in April 2012, 35,800 people have taken up offers of extra help to find employment.

Jobcentre Plus has also helped around 18,000 potentially capped claimants into work over this 18 month period.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

The benefit cap sends a very clear message that there is a limit to how much the welfare state will provide at £500 a week.

We are providing people with a strong incentive to move into work – with our Jobcentre teams now having helped claimants facing the cap for 18 months.

It is impressive that 18,000 potentially capped claimants have moved into work and almost 36,000 have accepted Jobcentre Plus help.

The benefit cap, along with Universal Credit, will return fairness to the welfare system and ensure that work pays.

Data today also show almost 19,300 households were capped nationally up to mid-September. This does not yet provide the full picture of all households that have been capped.

The cap has been in place nationwide since the end of September 2013 for appropriate households.

The benefit cap limits are set at £500 a week for couples, with or without children, and lone parent households, and at £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

More information

Read the first set of statistics – Benefit cap – number of households capped, data to September 2013, GB. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to September 2013. The exact date in September varies between local authorities depending when in the month they send figures to DWP.

Read the second set of statistics – Jobcentre Plus activity regarding claimants who have been identified as potentially impacted by the benefit cap. The figures cover the period from May 2012 to 11 October 2013.

Estimates suggest that around 40,000 households will have their benefits capped.

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

The benefit cap does not affect a household if a member is entitled to Working Tax Credit, increasing the incentive to find work.

In recognition of their additional needs, all households which include somebody who is receiving the following benefits will be exempt from the cap:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • War Disablement Pension and the equivalent payments from the Armed Forces Compensation Payments Scheme
  • Attendance Allowance
  • the support component of Employment and Support Allowance

People who receive a War Widows or Widowers Pension will be exempt, as a part of the government’s commitment to those serving or who have served in the Armed Forces and to their dependants.

There will be a ‘grace period’ during which the benefit cap will not be applied for 39 weeks to those who have been continuously in work for the previous 12 months.

The cap will only apply to people of working age, so income from Pension Credit will not count towards the cap.

Potentially affected claimants were first contacted in April 2012 with offers of support from Jobcentre Plus.

The benefit cap started with 4 London boroughs in April 2013 and the national implementation was completed at the end of September 2013.

Read more about the benefit cap

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