Press release

New benefit cap statistics released

Over 8,000 households who had their benefits capped have found jobs, reduced their benefit claim, or had another change of circumstance.

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


Over 8,000 households who had their benefits capped have since found jobs, reduced their benefit claim, or had another change of circumstance – with 40% of these finding work, according to new official statistics.

Capping benefits so that households can no longer receive 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.

Today’s (6 February 2014) figures show that more than 8,000 households that were subject to the £26,000-a-year limit on benefits are no longer capped, and at least 3,250 of these people found jobs by the end of last year.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

It is encouraging to see that people who have been subject to the cap are moving into work, so soon after national implementation was complete.

As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, our reforms are creating an alternative to life on benefits and already we are seeing an increasing number of people changing their circumstances so they are no longer subject to the cap.

By capping welfare, we are restoring fairness to a broken system and ensuring that our economy delivers for people who want to work hard and get on.

New figures also show that:

  • 12% of households that are no longer capped are claiming less Housing Benefit and a further 12% stopped claiming Housing Benefit altogether
  • 7% of households that were previously capped became entitled to a disability or sickness benefit
  • over 300 households were capped by at least £300 a week
  • over 1,200 single people without children were capped

At the end of last year, more than 28,400 households were subject to the benefit cap and over 36,400 households have been capped overall since April 2013.

Jobcentre Plus have been working with people potentially affected by the policy since April 2012, and earlier figures showed that around 19,000 potentially capped and some capped claimants had been helped into employment by November 2013.

More information

See the set of statistics entitled ‘Benefit Cap – households capped and off flows, data to December 2013, GB’. The figures cover the period from April 2013 to December 2013. 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 2 totals cannot be combined. Future publications will include the new outcome measures, rather than the Management Information.

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.

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.

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

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Published 6 February 2014