Benefit cap

Your entitlement

Find out how the benefit cap will affect you personally by using the benefit cap calculator.

What is the benefit cap

In July 2013, the government introduced a limit to the total amount of benefits that couples, lone parents and single people receive, based on an average income of a working household.

This means that the maximum weekly benefit was capped at £350 for a childless single household, and £500 for a couple or a lone parent.

What changed

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduced some changes to the benefit cap, even if your benefit was already capped. The benefit cap changes were implemented from 7 November 2016.

They included changes to the benefit cap levels to £20,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £13,400 for single people without children who live outside of London. They also included additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

From 7 November 2016, the cap was reduced to:

  • £385 per week for couples (with or without children) and lone parents
  • £285 per week for single adults

More information about the changes

Help with your benefits

  • Back into work - we can help you find employment and protect your current benefits
  • The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme provides financial support for those on a low income who may need further help with their housing costs.
  • Citizens Advice provides free and confidential advice - call 0844 855 2122
  • The Community Law Service provides free and confidential advice
  • If you need help managing your money please contact our Money Advice Service on 01604 838578 or email
  • Shelter offers confidential advice on housing, benefits and debt. Call the freephone housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday to Sunday 8am to 5pm.
  • Contact Jobcentre Plus for support with employment, learning new skills, budget advice and options for child care on 0345 605 7064.
  • If renting privately is or may no longer be an option, then you may want to consider social housing. Northampton Partnership Homes may be able to help with this.
  • You can also email us to discuss your options -