The next phase of the Government's Welfare Reforms includes a further cap on the amount of benefits a household can receive from 07 November 2016, called the Benefit Cap.

Claimant's circumstances Before November 2016
weekly cap level
After November 2016
weekly cap level
Family or a couple £500.00 per week £384.62 per week
Lone parent £500.00 per week £384.62 per week
Single person £350.00 per week £257.69 per week

What Benefits are included?

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment & Support Allowance (contribution-based and income-related except where the support component has been awarded)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (contribution-based and income-based)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widow's Pension, Widowed Mother's Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Universal Credit (unless you aren't deemed fit for work)

What Benefits will exclude me from being Capped?

If a member of the household qualifies for:

  • Working Tax Credit (a claim must have been made)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • Employment Support Allowance (support component)
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payments
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pensions Scheme Payments (including War Widow's/Widower's Pension and Ware Disablement Pension)
  • Carer's Allowance (including the equivalent claimants in Universal Credit)
  • Guardian's Allowance

The cap does not normally apply to people of Pension Age.

How can I check if the cap should apply to me?

You can find more information about the Cap at www.gov.uk/benefit-cap

What can I do to stop the cap applying?

As stated above there are certain benefits which would exempt your household from having your benefits capped.

In addition, if you were to find work, the cap would no longer apply. We can provide you with support to help you into work. You can register with our Employment and Training Unit by emailing etu@falkirk.gov.uk or call the team on 01324 504400.

If you think that you may be entitled to one of the exempt benefits you could seek advice from our Welfare Benefits team by emailing cas@falkirk.gov.uk or call the team on 01324 501404.

If the cap is correct, what does this mean for me?

If your total income from Benefits exceeds the cap level, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) will advise us and we will then reduce your Housing Benefit to keep you below the limit. This may mean in some circumstances, that you will lose all but 50p of your Housing Benefit and you will be liable to pay full rent to your landlord. We will issue a notification to advise you of the reduced award and a revised Rent statement (Falkirk Council tenants).

What other support is there?

If you are struggling to pay the shortfall in your rent as a result of the cap being applied to your Housing Benefit, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

This is a limited fund of money which could provide you with short term assistance whilst you try to take steps into work or move to more affordable accommodation. Entitlement will be assessed on your income and circumstances.

You can download a Discretionary Housing Payment application form or email us at revenues.dhp@falkirk.gov.uk or call the team on 01324 503850.