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Benefit Cap - What are my options if I am affected by the Benefit Cap?

Find out more about the Benefit Cap.

What are my options if I am affected by the Benefit Cap?

Once you know if you are going to be affected by the Benefit Cap, and by how much, you then need to find out your options.

Check your entitlement

Use our Benefits Calculator to check you are receiving the right amount of means-tested benefits.

Check whether you are eligible for benefits that are not included in the cap. You may be eligible for benefits like:

•    Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
•    Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
•    Statutory Sick Pay
•    Statutory Maternity Pay
•    Statutory Paternal Pay
•    Statutory Adoption Pay
•    Personal Independence Payment
•    Disability Living Allowance
•    Attendance Allowance

This is not a complete list.  You may want to check our Your Situation pages for other benefits that you may be entitled to.

If you live in Northern Ireland, you may be eligible for a top-up called Supplementary Payment. You can read more about the conditions for receiving this top-up on our Supplementary Payment page.

Become exempt

The Benefit Cap doesn’t apply to you if:
•    You and your partner earn enough or work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit
•    You or your partner receives a disability benefit
•    You or your partner qualifies for a carer benefit (from 7 November 2016)
•    You or your partner claims Guardian’s Allowance (from 7 November 2016)
•    You or your partner is over Pension Credit age
•    You are in a grace period

You may want to increase your work hours so that you are exempt from the cap.  If you are eligible for a disability benefit that you are not claiming, you may want to claim it to become exempt from the cap.

You can read more about the exemptions and the grace period in the Benefit Cap – Will I be affected by the Benefit Cap? section. 

Address your rent shortfall

If you are struggling to pay your rent because the cap reduces your Housing Benefit or the Housing element of your Universal Credit, you can apply to your local council for Discretionary Housing Payment.  

Your council may also run a Local Welfare Assistance scheme to help people in emergencies.

You may also want to consider moving to cheaper accommodation, in a cheaper area or ask your landlord to agree a rent reduction. 

Get Advice

If you’re not sure whether you can afford to make ends meet and you need advice about what to do next, you can use our Advicefinder to find a benefits or debt advisor near you.
 

Updated October 2016

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