Press release

Benefit cap: Over 9,000 of the highest benefit claimers find jobs or cut claim

9,200 households that had their benefits capped have moved into work, or reduced their own benefit claim below the weekly limit of the cap.

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

Pen and paper

New official statistics reveal that 4,300 households that were previously subject to the benefit cap found jobs since the limit was introduced in April.

Another 3,340 households that had their benefits capped either reduced their Housing Benefit claim or stopped claiming it altogether, while 1,570 households reduced the amount they receive in other benefits.

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.

In total, more than 38,600 households had their benefits capped by January 2014, ensuring that they no longer received more in benefits than the average family earns.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

The benefit cap is rewarding families who want to work hard and get on, and already we are seeing thousands of people finding jobs and moving off benefits.

By capping welfare, we are fixing the broken system which allowed tens of thousands of households to receive far more in benefits than the ordinary hardworking family earns.

We are taking control of the benefits system as part of the government’s long-term economic plan and making work pay to secure a better future for Britain.

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.

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 – households capped and off flows, data to January 2014, GB. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to January 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. Future publications will include the new outcome measures, rather than the management information.

In January 2014, 27,700 households were still subject to benefit cap. In addition, 11, 950 households are no longer subject to the benefit cap and of these:

  • 36% had seen someone move into work
  • 41% had actively reduced their benefit claim to below the level of the cap
  • 6% become exempt due to a disability or sickness benefit entitlement
  • 2% had a change in recorded Local Authority
  • 1% had a change in original household structure
  • 14% 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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Published 6 March 2014