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

The Benefit Cap is a limit to the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can get.

Last reviewed 30 November 2023

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 s.

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

This is not a complete list. You may want to check our Your Situation page 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 and you claim Housing Benefit
  • You and your partner earn at least the equivalent of working 16 hours per week at National Living Wage
  • You or your partner receives a disability benefit
  • You or your partner qualifies for a carer benefit
  • You or your partner claims Guardian’s Allowance
  • You or your partner is over 66 and you get Housing Benefit
  • 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 Find an Adviser tool to find a benefits or debt advisor near you.

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