Research and analysis

Benefit cap evaluation

These reports review progress during the first year of the operation of the benefit cap against its aims.


Post-implementation effects of the benefit cap (wave 2 survey)

In-depth interviews with people affected by the benefit cap

Benefit cap: analysis of outcomes of capped claimants

Supporting households affected by the benefit cap: impact on local authorities, local services and social landlords


These reports explore the progress from policy development to implementation of the benefit cap. They review the progress so far against the 3 aims of the benefit cap to:

  • increase incentives to work
  • introduce greater fairness in the welfare system
  • make financial savings

The reports support, and should be read with the benefit cap: a review of the first year, also published on 15 December 2014.

The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount of benefits that working-age households can receive. Broadly, households on out-of-work benefits no longer receive more in welfare payments than the average weekly wage. The benefit cap is part of the wider reform of the welfare system. It is currently operated through deductions from Housing Benefit payments but increasingly will be administered through deductions from Universal Credit.

The benefit cap was introduced from April 2013 and this evaluation covers the benefit cap’s first year of operation through deductions from Housing Benefit.

Research was carried out by Ipsos MORI and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR). DWP analysts carried out the analysis to quantify any behavioural effects of the benefit cap. This was independently peer-reviewed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Published 15 December 2014