Press release

Benefits capped for 33,000 households

New figures show almost 33,000 households had their benefits capped by November 2013.

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


Almost 33,000 households had their benefits capped by November 2013, new figures reveal.

Capping benefits so that households can no longer get more in benefits than the average family earns is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to make sure we deliver for hardworking people and fix the broken welfare system.

Statistics released today also show that in November:

  • Almost 150 households were capped by at least £350 a week
  • Over 1,000 single people without children were capped
  • The top 10 areas had capped over 500 households each and over 9,000 households in total since April 2013
  • In November 2013, over 27,000 households had their benefits capped and since April 2013, almost 33,000 households have been capped overall

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

These figures show that the benefit cap is returning fairness to the system by ensuring that families on benefits can no longer get more money than the average family earns.

It is not right that some families on benefits were receiving amounts of money that hardworking taxpayers could only dream of and our welfare reforms are working to fix the system.

By exempting people who are receiving Working Tax Credit, the benefit cap is increasing incentives to move into work and we already know that around 19,000 claimants potentially affected by the benefit cap have found jobs.

These new figures give a fuller picture of the number of households affected by the policy following the successful national implementation of the benefit cap in Autumn 2013. Local authorities continued to cap claimants after the rollout drawing on new data which highlighted other households whose benefit income rose above average household earnings.

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 at £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

More information

See the set of statistics entitled – ‘Benefit Cap – number of households capped, data to November 2013, GB’. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to November 2013. The exact date in November varies between local authorities depending when in the month they send figures to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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, 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
  • War Widows or Widowers Pension

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.

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Published 9 January 2014