Welfare Reform

Benefit cap

In April 2013, the government introduced a cap on the total amount of benefit to which working-age claimants can be entitled. This means that households on out of work benefits will no longer receive more in benefit than the average weekly wage, after tax and National Insurance.

We work alongside our  partners to advise and assist households affected by the benefit cap

We can provide advice or assistance if you have been affected by the benefit cap. Bromley’s aim is to help households who are either; seeking employment, require assistance in budgeting, or trying to find affordable accommodation. 

Welfare reform exemptions 

The cap won’t apply if anyone in your household (you, your partner and any children you are responsible for when working out your Housing Benefit) are

Entitled to

Working Tax Credit

In receipt of

Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
Attendance Allowance
The support component of ESA
Industrial Injuries Benefit (and equivalent war disablement pensions and payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
War Widows and War Widowers pension

If you or your partner have been in employment for 50 out of the previous 52 weeks prior to claiming benefit you may be exempt from the cap for a grace period of up to 39 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have I been benefit capped? 

You have been benefit capped, because you are in receipt of out of work benefits.  The benefit cap is an incentive introduced by central government to get people back into work. The cap’s primary aim is to ensure that  individuals  are better off in work than being in receipt of out of work benefits such as; JSA, ESA, Income Support.

I am benefit capped, and cannot afford to live in London, will moving away from a London borough affect my benefit cap?

The cost of living on the outskirts of London is considerably lower and the reduced benefit cap reflects this. If you are in accommodation and struggling to pay your rent as a result of the benefit cap Bromley Council can assist you with finding affordable accommodation outside of London. 

I have a partner and children how many hours would I need to work to avoid being benefit capped?

You and your partner will need to work a minimum of 24 hours a week between the two of you. The hours worked can be divided any way you wish as long as one of you is working for a minimum of 16 hours a week.

I am a single parent and I am benefit capped. I want to work but circumstances have made this difficult, what can I do?

You will only need to work for 16 hours per week. You may be able to receive assistance with your child care costs. Most importantly you will be exempt from the benefit cap.

I am self-employed, and in receipt of some benefits, how will the benefit cap affect me? 

If you are self-employed you will no longer be benefit capped if you are entitled to working tax credit. The Job Centre can provide you with the assistance and guidance needed to get into self-employment.  You may be entitled to a New Enterprise Allowance.

I am benefit capped, can’t afford my rent, but I don’t want to move and I cannot work as I have to look after my children? 

Unfortunately not taking any action, could result in financial difficulties and if you do not pay your rent, you could be at risk of losing your home. We can assist you in a number of ways including the following;

  • Help you with you efforts to find work
  • Provide information and advice about childcare
  • Move to more affordable accommodation
  • Assist you with budgeting to remain where you are if appropriate

Whatever option you choose we will work with you to help you overcome your housing difficulties.

If you are benefit capped and require housing advice or assistance or you are worried about how to manage long term; please contact us and we will give you advice about your options.


Contact Welfare Reform team

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