Press release

Benefit cap: thousands move into work

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

More than 12,000 households have made the choice to move into work or stop claiming Housing Benefit because of the benefit cap.

A key part of the long-term economic plan, capping benefits means no-one receives more in out-of-work benefits than the average household income and, as a result, some of the biggest benefit claims in the country have been stopped.

Over 50,000 households have had their benefits capped since April 2013. Over half of households have had their benefits cut by up to £50 a week, whereas a few have been capped by as much as £600 a week. This has put a stop to people claiming a massive £57,000 in benefits equivalent to a salary of £74,000.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

Our welfare reforms are, at their core, about supporting people off benefits and in to work – putting an end to the cycles of welfare dependency.

The benefit cap has had a real impact in changing attitudes and behaviours. By putting an end to runaway benefit claims, and introducing a system which guarantees you will always be better off in work, we are incentivising people to move into employment. Every month hundreds of people affected by the cap are moving into jobs and gaining financial security.

That’s real people turning their lives and the prospects of their families around. It is a proud record of this government’s long-term economic plan – one that we are determined to see through.

The benefit cap in numbers:

  • 51,200 households have had their benefits capped since April 2013
  • 15,000 households are no longer capped as they moved into work, reduced their Housing Benefit claim or are no longer claiming Housing Benefit at all
  • 23,900 households are no longer subject to the benefit cap

The benefit cap is helping ensure that work pays and that people are better off with a job than being trapped on benefits.

People like a south London mum of 6 who was receiving £3,500 a month in benefits. With Jobcentre Plus support she is now working as a hairdresser – with a long-term view of setting herself up as a registered childminder.

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

To increase the incentives for claimants to move into work, households where someone is entitled to a Working Tax Credit are exempt from the benefit cap.

All households with someone, including a child, in receipt of a disability-related benefit are also exempt from the benefit cap recognising the extra costs disability can bring.

More information

Read the full statistical release: Benefit cap: number of households capped to August 2014

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